Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI)

Healthcare-associated infections (HAI) are infections that patients acquire while receiving medical treatment. HAIs occur in all settings of care, including acute care within hospitals and same day surgical centers, ambulatory outpatient care in healthcare clinics, and in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities.

The risk of acquiring HAIs is related to the mode of transmission of the infectious agent, the type of patient-care activity or procedure being performed, and the underlying patient’s host defenses.

HAIs are associated with a variety of causes, including (but not limited to):

  • The use of medical devices, such as catheters and ventilators
  • Complications following a surgical procedure
  • Transmission between patients and healthcare workers
  • The result of antibiotic overuse

Five categories of infections account for the majority of HAIs in the acute care hospital setting:

  • Surgical site infections (SSI)
  • Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP)
  • Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI)
  • Clostridium difficile (C. diff) Infections
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI)

Infections associated with multidrug resistant organisms also contribute significantly to the overall problem.





C. difficile

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