A healthcare (also known as hospital) associated infection (HAI) is one that a patient contracts while receiving medical treatment in a healthcare facility. These infections can range from mild to severe, and in worst case scenarios can be fatal.
The Centers for Disease Control tracks the prevalence of healthcare associated infections in hospitals and healthcare facilities across the country. It recently released a comprehensive report titled "National and State Healthcare Associated Infections Progress Report," which looks at data from 2013 for the prevalence of six HAIs in more than 13,000 healthcare facilities and hospitals across the country. Here’s what the report found with regard to these six healthcare associated infections in Maryland.
Healthcare associated Infections in Maryland
Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSIs)
This occurs when a tube is inserted into a large vein and is either not put in correctly or not kept clean. This allows germs to enter the bloodstream.
- The rate of CLABSIs in healthcare facilities in Maryland is 49% lower than the national baseline.
- There was no significant change in CLABSIs in Maryland between 2012-2013.
Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTIs)
This occurs when a urinary catheter is not inserted correctly, not kept clean, or kept in a patient for too long. This allows germs to infect the bladder and the kidneys.
- The rate of CAUTIs in Maryland hospitals is 38% higher compared to the national baseline.
- Maryland hospitals reported a decrease in CAUTIs from 2012-2013.
Laboratory Identified Hospital-Onset Bloodstream Infections (MRSA Bacteremia)
MRSA bacteria (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) are spread on contaminated hands, and can cause bloodstream infections.
- Maryland’s rate of MRSA Bacteremia was 18% lower than the national baseline.
Surgical Site Infections (SSIs)
Surgical site infections occur when bacteria are transferred to an opening in a surgical site and enter the body, where they can cause a number of infections.
- SSIs in Maryland as a result of abdominal hysterectomy’s were 29% higher than the national baseline.
- SSIs in Maryland as a result of colon surgery were 15% lower than the national baseline.
Laboratory Identified Hospital-Onset C. Difficile Infections
C. Difficile infections are caused when good bacteria that protect the body from infections are killed by antiobiotics, allowing Clostridium difficile bacteria to cause potentially deadly diarrhea.
- The rate of C. Difficile infections in Maryland healthcare settings was 16% higher than the national baseline.