Healthcare-associated infections down

Oct. 20, 2011 at 12:18 AM

ATLANTA, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Several U.S. healthcare and hospital-acquired infections declined last year, federal health officials announced.

"Hospitals continue to make impressive progress in driving down certain infections in intensive care units through implementation of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's prevention strategies," Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the CDC, said in a statement. "Hospitals and state health departments need to translate this progress to other areas of healthcare delivery and healthcare infections, such as dialysis and ambulatory surgery center, and diarrheal infections such as Clostridium difficile. Despite successes, more work is needed to ensure safe care and eliminate healthcare-associated infections."

The National Healthcare Safety Network, CDC's healthcare infection monitoring system, reported a 33 percent reduction in central line-associated bloodstream infections in 2010 -- a 35 percent reduction among critical care patients and a 26 percent reduction among non-critical care patients. A central line is a tube that is placed in a large vein of a patient's neck or chest to give medical treatment.

The report also noted a 7 percent reduction in catheter-associated urinary tract infections throughout hospitals, a 10 percent reduction in surgical site infections and an 18 percent reduction in the number of people developing healthcare-associated invasive methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections.

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