N.Y. hospital infection rate down

Dec. 4, 2012 at 1:46 AM
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ALBANY, N.Y., Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Since 2007, the number of central-line associated blood infections acquired by patients while in New York hospitals declined by 41 percent, officials say.

The fifth-annual report on hospital-acquired infections by the New York state Department of Health also found since 2007 the rates of surgical site infections for selected procedures fell dropped by 13 percent, while the rate of Clostridium difficile infections rose by 3 percent, but part of that increase may be attributable to the increased use of more sensitive laboratory tests.

"The findings of this latest hospital-acquired infections report are positive, but we will continue to work with hospitals to achieve additional reductions," Dr. Nirav R. Shah, state health commissioner said in a statement. "Hospital-acquired infections are preventable and we will encourage healthcare providers to adopt best practices to better protect patient safety."

The report said the decline in New York hospital central-line associated blood infections since 2007 not only prevented illness for the patient, but also led to an estimated savings of between $12 million and $48 million due to decreased length of hospital stays and preventing the need for additional treatment.

The biggest reduction occurred in surgical intensive care units, where the central-line associated blood infection rate decreased 57 percent from 3.33 to 1.42 infections per 1,000 central line days between 2007 and 2011, the report said.

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