March 2, 2015

Data indicate one in 25 hospital patients acquire an infection during their hospital stay

Two new CDC reports that discuss healthcare-associated infections were covered on one of last night’s national news broadcasts, in several major US newspapers, by wires, and on several websites. All of the articles quote Dr. Mike Bell, deputy director of the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion at the CDC, and many quote CDC Director Tom Frieden. NBC Nightly News (3/26, story 11, 0:20, Williams) reported that CDC data indicate that “one in 25 hospital patients pick up an infection during their hospital stay.”

According to the AP (3/27), the “report suggests hospital infections are not as common as previously” believed.

USA Today (3/27, Painter) reports that “the report, based on a survey conducted in 183 hospitals in 10 states in 2011, updates a previous estimate of 1.7 million infections a year.” The earlier “estimate, issued” about seven years ago, “was based on different study methods, so the numbers can’t be directly compared, officials say.” However, “‘the trend looks like there are fewer infections,’ than in the past, says…Bell,” who added, “It makes sense because of all the efforts we’ve made to reduce infections.”

The New York Times (3/27, Tavernise, Subscription Publication) reports that “Dr. Bell said that improvements at hospitals were an important part of the drop in infections, but added that other forces were at work, such as changes in the” US’ “medical landscape.” The Times points out that “more than 60 percent of operations are performed outside of hospitals, in outpatient facilities…and much of the care that used to happen in hospital wards is shifting to nursing homes.” This may “account for part of the drop in the rate of infections only hospitals are included in the report and Dr. Bell said health officials were working to broaden their data collection to include nursing homes and outpatient facilities.”

The Washington Post (3/27, Bernstein) reports that the research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, indicated that “the most common infections are pneumonia (22 percent), surgical site infections (22 percent), gastrointestinal infections (17 percent), urinary tract infections (13 percent), and bloodstream infections (10 percent).”

The NPR (3/26, Harris) “Shots” blog reports that researchers found that among those who acquired an infection, approximately 11 percent died.

McClatchy (3/27, White, Subscription Publication) reports that in a statement, Frieden said, “Although there has been some progress, today and every day, more than 200 Americans with health care-associated infections will die during their hospital stay.”

According to the CBS News (3/27, Firger) website, the CDC released a second report, “based on data between 2008 and 2012,” that “found some common infections at hospitals are becoming less prevalent.” This report indicated that “there was a 44-percent decrease in central line-associated bloodstream infections.”

Modern Healthcare (3/27, Rice, Subscription Publication) reports that this report also found “a 20% decrease in infections related to 10 surgical procedures, including colon surgery, cardiac surgery, hip and knee replacements, and abdominal and vaginal hysterectomies.” Additionally, “between 2011 and 2012, there was also a 4% decrease in hospital-acquired MRSA and a 2% decrease in hospital-onset C. difficile infections.” While “most infections were decreasing nationwide, some, such as catheter associated urinary tract infections, have increased.”

Source: AMA News Today