Central Line Infections in ICU Drop 58%: CDC
Hospitals across the United States have seen a 58% drop in the number of central line blood stream infections in intensive care units (ICUs) since 2001, according to a new government report.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new report on hospital acquired infections, indicating a massive reduction of central line infections, considered one of the most dangerous for hospital patients. However, even with the reductions, the CDC reports that 5% of hospital patients suffer infections each year.
In its study, the CDC looked at health care databases that tracked central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs) through ICUs, inpatient wards and outpatient hemodialysis centers across the country. The CDC found that in 2001, there were an estimated 43,0000 CLABSIs among ICU patients in the U.S. However, by 2009 that number had dropped to 18,000. Infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus showed the most rapid decline.
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The CDC estimates that the reductions represent a savings of about $414 million in health care costs and prevented up to 6,000 deaths.
The CDC reports that there are more than 2 million hospital infections acquired each year, resulting in about 90,000 deaths annually. Another 1.5 million long term care and nursing home infections occur every year.
In recent years, there has been an increasing number of hospital infection lawsuits filed throughout the United States, as experts believe that most of these potentially life-threatening infections in hospitals can be prevented if steps are taken by the facility and staff.
These steps could include improved methods of handling catheter during insertion, leaving them in for shorter periods and improved hygiene. Many hospitals have instituted new rules to ensure that hands are washed and increased efforts are being taken to keep areas lie the ICU more sterile and catheters clean.
MichaelMarch 3, 2011 at 5:29 pm
The reductions being reported are at best questionable. In January 2009, the CDC changed the NHSN definition of these infections. They eliminated any patient who has one positve blood culture for coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS), has a intravascular catheter and gets treated by their physician. This was the most common category reported in the past. Now one must have two positive blood cul[Show More]The reductions being reported are at best questionable. In January 2009, the CDC changed the NHSN definition of these infections. They eliminated any patient who has one positve blood culture for coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS), has a intravascular catheter and gets treated by their physician. This was the most common category reported in the past. Now one must have two positive blood cultures for CNS plus signs and symptoms. So while the numbers are lower, they don't neccessarily represent a reality of fewer infections in ICUs.
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