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The CDC estimates that there are 1.7 million hospital acquired infections each year that cause nearly 100,000 deaths,1,2 which costs our US healthcare system between 28 billion to 33 billion dollars each year.3  Each infection can produce an additional cost of hospitalization of between $32,000 and $38,656.4,5  The average cost of each healthcare acquired infection was estimated by AHRQ to be $43,000.6 

A recent White Paper from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), SHEA (Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America), APIC (Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology) , ASTHO (Association of State and Territorial Epidemiologists), CSTE (The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists), and the PIDS (Pediatric Infectious Disease Society) stated the following: 7

  MRSA Infections
  C. Diff.  Infections
  CLABSI Infections
  CAUTI Infections
  VAP  Infections
  Prevention of Events

“The number of people who are sickened or die and the financial impact from HAIs are unacceptable high.”

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Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH Director of the CDC  "An important role of public health agencies is to define the unacceptable. This concept has particular relevance for healthcare-associated infections. Evidence indicates that, with focused efforts, these once formidable infections can be greatly reduced in number, leading to a new normal for healthcare-associated infections as rare, unacceptable events."8

Umscheid, et al. has concludes in the journal of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology that most of these infections are preventable"

"As many as 65%-70% of cases of CABSI (Catheter Associated Bloodstream Infections) and CAUTI (Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infection) and 55% of cases of VAP (Ventilator Associated Pneumonia) and SSI (Surgical Site Infections) may be preventable with current evidence-based strategies. CAUTI may be the most preventable HAI. CABSI has the highest number of preventable deaths, followed by VAP."9

Data From Two Major New Studies Indicates that Goves/Gowns/Handwashing May Not Be Enough To Stop The Spread of MDROs


  1. Klevens et al. Estimating Health Care-Associated Infections and Deaths in U.S. Hospitals, 2002. Public Health Reports. March-April 2007. Volume 122.

  2. CDC: Estimates of Healthcare-Associated Infections

  3. Besser, RE. CDC’s Role in Preventing Healthcare Associated Infections

  4. Infections Due to Medical Care in Oregon Hospitals, 2003-2005 Oregon Health Policy and Research. Nov 2006

  5. Zhan C, Miller MR. Excess length of stay, charges, and mortality attributable to medical injuries during hospitalization. JAMA. 2003 Oct 8;290(14):1868-74.

  6. Lucado J, Paez K, Andrews R and Steiner C. Adult Hospital Stays with Infections Due to Medical Care, 2007. Statistical Brief #94 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project AHRQ Aug 2010 

  7. Cardo D, Dennehy PH, Halverson P, Fishman N, Kohn M, Murphy CL, Whitley Rj, and the HAI Elimination White Paper Writing Group.  Moving toward elimination of healthcare-associated infections: A call to action. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2010 Oct;31:S42–S44.

  8. Frieden TR, Maximizing Infection Prevention in the Next Decade: Defining the Unacceptable. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol.  2010 Oct;31:S1–S3. 

  9. Umscheid CA, Mitchell MD, Doshi JA, Agarwal R, Williams K, Brennan PJ. Estimating the proportion of healthcare-associated infections that are reasonably preventable and the related mortality and costs. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2011 Feb;32(2):101-14.