Making Health Care Safer

Protect patients from antibiotic resistance

Graphic:Protect patients from antibiotic resistant infections

Protect patients from antibiotic-resistant infections.

  • Surgeries and single-use catheters help treat patients, but they can be pathways for bacteria to enter the body.
  • Bacteria can be spread when appropriate infection control actions are not taken.
  • Antibiotics save lives, but poor prescribing practices puts patients at risk.

Combine infection control actions with every patient to prevent infections in healthcare.

  • Preventing  infections from catheters and after surgery
  • Preventing bacteria from spreading
  • Improving antibiotic use.

SOURCE: CDC Vital Signs, March 2016.

Graphic: Protect every patient every time

Protect every patient every time.

Actions to prevent antibiotic-resistant infections in healthcare.

Prevent infections from catheters and after surgery.

  • Use catheters only when needed.
  • Follow recommendations for safer surgery and catheter insertion and care.
  • Remove catheters from patient as soon as they are no longer needed.

Prevent bacteria from spreading.

  • Improve hand hygiene.
  • Use gloves, gowns, and dedicated equipment for patients who have resistant bacteria.
  • Know about antibiotic-resistant HAI outbreaks in your hospital and region (e.g. promote coordinated action for prevention).

Improve antibiotic use.

  • Get cultures and start antibiotics promptly, especially in the case of sepsis.
  • Use cultures to reassess the need for antibiotics and stop antibiotic treatment as soon as they are no longer needed.
  • When antibiotics are necessary, use the appropriate antibiotic in the proper dosage, frequency, and duration.

National Acute Care Hospitals

Healthcare-associated infections (HAI) are infections patients can get while receiving medical treatment in a healthcare facility. Working toward the elimination of HAIs is a CDC priority. For more information on HAI prevention progress, visit:

  • 1 in 6 CLABSIs were caused by urgent or serious antibiotic-resistant threats.
  • 1 in 10 CAUTIs were caused by urgent or serious antibiotic-resistant threats.
  • 1 in 7 SSIs were caused by urgent or serious antibiotic-resistant threats.
C. difficile infections
  • 9 in 10 patients diagnosed with C. difficile are related to healthcare.

SOURCE: CDC Vital Signs, March 2016. Data used for this analysis was reported to CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network.