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Medical News & Perspectives
April 16, 2014

Some Progress in Effort to Reduce Hospital-Acquired Infections

JAMA. 2014;311(15):1488. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.4107

Hospital-acquired infections remain a pressing public health threat, affecting 1 in 25 hospitalized patients in 2011, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But some progress has been made in reducing these infections.

A pair of reports released in late March by the CDC were the latest in the agency’s efforts to curb the public health threat posed by these avoidable infections. Based on a survey of 183 hospitals, the CDC estimates 721 800 infections occurred in 2011 (Magill SS et al. N Engl J Med. 2014;370:1198-1208). Pneumonia (22%) and surgical site infections (22%) were the most common, followed by gastrointestinal infections (17%), urinary tract infections (13%), and bloodstream infections (10%). The most common causes of these infections were Clostridium difficile (12%), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (11%), Klebsiella (10%), Escherichia coli (9%), Enterococcus (9%), and Pseudomonas (7%).