ATLANTA - America is doing a better job of preventing healthcare-associated
infections (HAIs), but more work is needed – especially in fighting
antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention’s (CDC) latest Vital Signs report urges healthcare workers to
use a combination of infection control recommendations to better
protect patients from these infections.
“New data show that far too many patients are getting infected with
dangerous, drug-resistant bacteria in healthcare settings,” said CDC
Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Doctors and healthcare facilities
have the power to protect patients – no one should get sick while trying
to get well.”
Many of the most urgent and serious antibiotic-resistant bacteria threaten patients while they are being treated in healthcare facilities for other conditions, and may lead to sepsis
or death. In acute care hospitals, 1 in 7 catheter- and surgery-related
HAIs can be caused by any of the six antibiotic-resistant bacteria
listed below. That number increases to 1 in 4 infections in long-term
acute care hospitals, which treat patients who are generally very sick
and stay, on average, more than 25 days.
The six antibiotic-resistant threats examined are:
U.S. hospitals doing better at preventing most HAIs
The national data in this Vital Signs report, along with data from CDC’s latest annual progress report on HAI prevention, show that acute care hospitals have achieved:
A 50 percent decrease in central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) between 2008 and 2014.
1 in 6 remaining CLABSIs are caused by urgent or serious antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
A 17 percent decrease in surgical site infections (SSIs) between
2008 and 2014 related to 10 procedures tracked in previous HAI progress
1 in 7 remaining SSIs are caused by urgent or serious antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
No change in the overall catheter-associated urinary tract
infections (CAUTIs) between 2009 and 2014. During this time, however,
there was progress in non-ICU settings, progress in all settings between
2013 and 2014, and most notably, even more progress in all settings
towards the end of 2014.
1 in 10 CAUTIs are caused by urgent or serious antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
The Vital Signs report also examines the role of Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), the most common type of bacteria responsible for infections in hospitals. C. difficile caused almost half a million infections in the United States in 2011 alone. CDC’s annual progress report shows that progress has been made in decreasing hospital-onset C. difficile infections by 8 percentbetween 2011 and 2014.
Along with the updated annual progress report, CDC released the Antibiotic Resistance Patient Safety Atlas,
a new web app with interactive data on HAIs caused by antibiotic
resistant bacteria. The tool provides national, regional, and state map
views of superbug/drug combinations showing percent resistance over
time. The Atlas uses data reported to CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network from 2011 to 2014 from more than 4,000 healthcare facilities.
CDC message to healthcare providers
CDC is calling on doctors, nurses, health care facility
administrators, and state and local health departments to continue to do
their part to prevent HAIs. The report recommends doctors and nurses
combine three critical efforts to accomplish this:
Prevent the spread of bacteria between patients;
Prevent infections related to surgery and/or placement of a catheter; and
Improve antibiotic use through stewardship.
“For clinicians, prevention means isolating patients when necessary,”
said Clifford McDonald, M.D., Associate Director for Science at CDC’s
Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion. “It also means being aware of
antibiotic resistance patterns in your facilities, following
recommendations for preventing infections that can occur after surgery
or from central lines and catheters placed in the body, and prescribing
CDC efforts, in addition to efforts by the Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services (CMS), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
(AHRQ), and state mandates for public reporting of HAIs, have all
contributed to national progress in improving transparency, accountability, and quality related to patient safety.
“The good news is that we are preventing healthcare acquired
infections, which has saved thousands of lives,” said Patrick Conway,
M.D., M.Sc., Deputy Administrator and Chief Medical Officer at Centers
for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “The challenge ahead is how we help
to prevent antibiotic resistance as well as infections. We are using
incentives, changes in care delivery, and transparency to improve safety
and quality for patients.”
Congress has recognized the urgent need to combat antibiotic
resistance. In fiscal year 2016, Congress appropriated $160 million in
new funding for CDC to implement its activities listed in the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-resistant Bacteria. With this funding, CDC will fight the spread of antibiotic resistance by:
accelerating outbreak detection and prevention in every state;
enhancing tracking of resistance mechanisms and resistant infections;
supporting innovative research to address current gaps in knowledge; and