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What are some statistics about hospital infection rates?

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In 2011, approximately 722,000 cases of health care-associated infections (HAI) in acute care hospitals were documented in the United States, reports the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Among these cases, an estimated 75,000 inpatients died during the course of their hospital stay.

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In the U.S., roughly 1 in 25 patients confined in hospitals at any given time acquires an infection while being treated for another condition. The majority of hospital-acquired HAIs in 2011 included pneumonia at 157,500, surgical site infections at 157,000, gastrointestinal infections at 123,100, urinary tract infections at 93,300 and primary bloodstream infections at 71,900. Other types of infections accounted for 118,500 reported cases.

A 46 percent reduction in central-line associated bloodstream infections had been observed nationwide between 2008 and 2013, based on the 2013 data gathered by the CDC National and State Healthcare-Associated Infections Progress Report. The same assessment also showed a 19 percent decline in the select surgical site infections associated with the 10 chosen procedures monitored throughout the 5-year period from 2008 and 2013.

Between 2009 and 2013, infections related to hospital-onset methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream illnesses also decreased by eight percent. A 10 percent reduction in hospital-acquired C. difficile infections between 2011 and 2013 was also reported. Although the 2013 annual report showed a marked decrease in nearly all monitored HAIs, a 6 percent increase in catheter-associated urinary tract infections between 2009 and 2013 was documented. However, unofficial data from 2014 appear to indicate that these types of infections are also on the decline.

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