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April 13, 2011

Health Care–Associated Infections in Children

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Center for Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio.

JAMA. 2011;305(14):1480-1481. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.449

Health care–associated infections (HAI) result in significant morbidity, prolong hospitalization, increase health care costs, and contribute to patient deaths. Among the aggressive national and local endeavors to address HAI, the subtle (and not so subtle) differences between pediatric and adult patients are often overlooked. Rates of central line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), surgical site infections (SSI), and respiratory viral infections differ between children and adults, reflecting the unique susceptibilities of each population. Efforts to reduce the rates of HAI in children are often hampered by the lack of pediatric-specific research, lack of national pediatric-specific quality measures to guide prevention of SSI, and the implementation of infection prevention practices validated only in adult populations.