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Hospital Infections: Some Progress, but More Work Needed

New State and National Data Point to Success, Next Wave of Challenges

Today, CDC released two new reports that detail national estimates of HAIs and report on national and state-specific progress toward preventing HAIs. These reports show that progress is being made, but three-quarters of a million infections still threaten hospital patients.

The reports found:

  • On any given day, 1 in 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection.
  • About 75,000 hospital patients with HAIs died during their hospitalizations.
  • Nationally, progress is being made in preventing certain infections, including central line-associated bloodstream infections, infections related to 10 types of surgery, hospital-onset methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream infections, and hospital-onset Clostridium difficile infections.
  • The most common germs causing HAIs were C. difficile or deadly diarrhea; Staphylococcus aureus, including MRSA; Klebsiella; E. coli; Enterococcus; and Pseudomonas

These reports highlight new challenges that will require prevention efforts moving forward. Everyone, including patients and their advocates, healthcare providers, and public health agencies, can play a role in preventing HAIs.

Graphics / Images

  • Graphic: What Patients Can Do: Six Ways To Be A Safe Patient

    What Patients Can Do: Six Ways To Be A Safe Patient
    Entire Infographic

  • Graphic: State-based HAI Prevention Activities

    State-based HAI Prevention Activities.
    Interactive Map

  • How Antibiotic Resistance Happens

    How Antibiotic Resistance Happens
    Entire Infographic

  • Examples of How Antibiotic Resistance Spreads

    Examples of How Antibiotic Resistance Spreads
    Entire Infographic

  • Illustration: Medical illustration of Clostridium difficile

    Medical illustration of Clostridium difficile.

  • Illustration: Medical illustration of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

    Medical illustration of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

  • Illustration: Medical illustration of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae

    Medical illustration of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae.

  • Illustration: Medical illustration of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae

    Medical illustration of Enterococcus.

  • Illustration: Medical illustration of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    Medical illustration of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

  • Photo: Yellow-green fluorescence of Clostridium difficile

    Yellow-green fluorescence of Clostridium difficile under long-wave UV irradiation on a CCFA plate.

  • Photo: Plates of plates of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

    Plates of plates of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in CDC’s healthcare-associated infections laboratory.

  • Photo: CDC microbiologist, Alicia Shams

    CDC microbiologist Alicia Shams demonstrates Klebsiella pneumoniae growing on a MacConkey agar plate. Klebsiella pneumoniae is the most common Enterobacteriaceae that is drug resistant.

  • Photo: CDC microbiologist, Valerie Albrech

    CDC microbiologist Valerie Albrecht holds up two plates of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

Contact Information

CDC Media Relations
(404) 639-3286
media@cdc.gov

Spokespersons

Tom Frieden, MD, MPH

Biography

Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH

Although there has been some progress, today and every day, more than 200 Americans with healthcare-associated infections will die during their hospital stay. The most advanced medical care won’t work if clinicians don’t prevent infections through basic things such as regular hand hygiene. Health care workers want the best for their patients; following standard infection control practices every time will help ensure their patients’ safety.

Tom Frieden, MD, MPH - Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Michael Bell, MD

Biography

Photo: Michael Bell, MD

There is work to be done everywhere patients receive care. This information should result in action at all levels of public health and medical care. Patients rely on us to protect them. While we have made progress as a country, we must continue this battle each day until care is safer in every state and every facility.

Michael Bell, MD - Deputy Director of CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion

 
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