Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, said a hospital-acquired infection is an infection caught while in the hospital for another reason. For example, a healthy 60-year-old man gets a knee replacement in a hospital and while the surgery went fine, he caught an infection, became very sick, while some die. These are considered preventable deaths.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta released two reports Wednesday. One report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, used 2011 data from 183 U.S. hospitals to estimate the burden of of infections in hospital patients in 10 states.
About 75,000 patients with healthcare-associated infections died during their hospitalization.
The healthcare-associated infections included:
- 22 percent pneumonia
- 22 percent surgical site infections.
- 17 percent gastrointestinal infections
- 13 percent urinary tract infections
- 10 percent bloodstream infections
The second report was the annual report on national and state-specific progress toward U.S. Health and Human Services hospital-acquired infections prevention goals.
The report found a:
- 44 percent decrease in central line-associated -- tube in the body to deliver medication or nutrition -- bloodstream infections between 2008 and 2012.
- 20 percent decrease in infections related to the 10 surgical procedures tracked in the report between 2008 and 2012.
- 4 percent decrease in hospital-onset Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus between 2011 and 2012.
- 2 percent decrease in hospital-onset C. difficile infections from 2011 to 2012.
Frieden said the reports showed progress, but more work was needed to improve patient safety.
"Although there has been some progress, today and every day, more than 200 Americans with healthcare-associated infections will die during their hospital stay,” Frieden said in a statement.
“The most advanced medical care won’t work if clinicians don’t prevent infections through basic things such as regular hand hygiene. Healthcare workers want the best for their patients; following standard infection control practices every time will help ensure their patients’ safety."