According to a recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), progress has been made in the effort to eliminate infections that commonly threaten hospital patients, including a 46 percent decrease in central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) between 2008 and 2013. However, additional work is needed to continue to improve patient safety. CDC’s healthcare-associated infections (HAI) progress report is a snapshot of how each state and the country are doing in eliminating six infection types that hospitals are required to report to CDC. For the first time, this year’s report includes state-specific data about hospital lab-identified methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream infections and Clostridium difficile (C. Difficile) infections (deadly diarrhea).
The annual National and State Healthcare-associated Infection Progress Report expands upon and provides an update to previous reports detailing progress toward the goal of eliminating HAIs. The report summarizes data submitted to CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), the nation’s healthcare-associated infection tracking system, which is used by more than 14,500 healthcare facilities across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
On the national level, the report found:
- A 46 percent decrease in central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) between 2008 and 2013. A central line-associated bloodstream infection occurs when a tube is placed in a large vein and either not put in correctly or not kept clean, becoming a highway for germs to enter the body and cause deadly infections in the blood.
- A 19 percent decrease in surgical site infections (SSI) related to the 10 select procedures tracked in the report between 2008 and 2013. When germs get into the surgical wound, patients can get a surgical site infection involving the skin, organs, or implanted material.
- A 6 percent increase in catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) since 2009 (although initial data from 2014 seem to indicate that these infections have started to decrease). When a urinary catheter is either not put in correctly, not kept clean, or left in a patient for too long, germs can travel through the catheter and infect the bladder and kidneys.
- An 8 percent decrease in MRSA bloodstream infections between 2011 and 2013.