Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI)
What is an HAI?
Healthcare-associated infections (HAI) are infections that patients acquire
while receiving treatment for medical or surgical conditions. 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 frequency of HAIs varies by location.
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 helathcare workers
- The result of antibiotic overuse
Five categories of infections account for the majoirty of HAIs in the acute care hospital setting:
- Surgical site infections
- Ventilator-associated pneumonia
- Central line-associated bloodstream infections
- C difficile Infections
- Catheter-associated urinary tract infections
Infections associated with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other multi-drug resistant
organisms also contribute significantly to the overall problem. The frequency of HAIs varies by location.
In addition to the substantial human suffering exacted by HAIs the financial burden attributable to these infections
is staggering. In a recent study
, the total annual costs for the 5 major infections were $9.8 billion, with surgical site infections contributing the most
to overall costs (33.7% of the total), followed by ventilator-associated pneumonia (31.6%), central line associated bloodstream
infections (18.9%), C difficile infections (15.4%), and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (<1%).
The CDC healthcare-associated infection (HAI) prevalence survey
provides an updated national estimate of the overall problem of HAIs in U.S. hospitals. Based on a large sample of U.S. acute
care hospitals, the survey found that on any given day, about 1 in 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated
infection. There were an estimated 722,000 HAIs in U.S acute care hospitals in 2011. About 75,000 hospital patients with HAIs died during
their hospitalizations. More than half of all HAIs occurred outside of the intensive care unit.
Accordint to HealthPeople.gov. HAIs are a leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.
National Get Smart About Anitbiotics Campaign - Click here for more information and materials.
APIC Infection Prevention and You 2014