What Are the Most Common Types of Hospital Acquired Infections?

What Are the Most Common Types of Hospital Acquired Infections?When a patient becomes ill with an infection after having been admitted to the hospital for the treatment of an unrelated condition (or within three days of being discharged, and with no existing signs of infection, it can be said to be a hospital-acquired, or nosocomial infection. Healthcare-associated infections are preventable and they represent a significant threat to patient safety in a health care environment according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In fact, the CDC reports that on any given day, about one in 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection.

What is the cause of hospital-acquired infections?

Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are often caused by bacteria and other pathogens that are prevalent in a healthcare environment. When a patient is ill or injured, they may have a compromised immune system that is not successful in fighting off these infections when they are exposed to them. A patient may develop an infection in hospitals that are not as clean as they should be, or when the medical staff fails to follow best practices in preventing HAIs.

Common types of hospital-acquired infections

Some of the most common types of HAIs include the following:

  • Central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI)
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI)
  • Surgical site infections
  • Clostridium difficile
  • Ventilator-associated Pneumonia (VAP)
  • Surgical site infection (SSI)

The CDC conducts an annual National and State Healthcare-Associated Infections Progress Report (HAI Progress Report), which provides state and national progress in preventing HAIs. Some of the highlights of the 2014 data include:

  • There was a 50 percent decrease in central line-associated bloodstream infections between 2008 and 2014
  • There was no change overall in the rate of CAUTIs between 2009 and 2014
  • They found a 17 percent decrease in SSIs between 2008 and 2014 for 10 select procedures including abdominal hysterectomy and colon surgery.

In 2014, there were approximately 722,000 HAIs in acute care hospitals in the United States, and 75,000 patients with HAIs died during their hospitalizations.

The CDC tracks HAIs on a state-by-state basis. For 2014, here are a few highlights for Washington, D.C:

Of the 12 reporting hospitals in the District of Columbia, 8 hospitals had a 40 percent lower SIR (standard infection ratio) for CLABSIs than the national SIR, 7 hospitals had a 2 percent higher SIR than the national rate for CAUTIs, and 8 hospitals had a 5 percent lower MRSA SIR vs. the national rate.

The District of Columbia is taking action to prevent these specific HAIs:

  • Central line-associated bloodstream infections
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infections
  • Multidrug-resistant infections (CRE)

If you contracted a hospital-acquired infection while you were in the hospital, or within three days of being discharged from a hospital stay, you may want to schedule a consultation with an experienced Washington, D.C. medical malpractice attorney from Paulson & Nace, PLLC. Please call 202-463-1999 or fill out our contact form to learn more about our services.