Thousands of Patients Still Affected by Health Care-Related Infections
Efforts to control to catheter-related blood infections are not working and the preventable infection persists at medical facilities, an Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology survey indicates, the Wall Street Journal's "Health Blog" reports.
According to the association, about 80,000 patients contract such infections each year and approximately 30,000 of them die from the infections, accounting for roughly one-third of annual deaths from health care-acquired infections in the United States (Hobson, "Health Blog," Wall Street Journal, 7/12).
The association surveyed 2,075 health care workers, including association members and infection control nurses.
- According to the survey, respondents said CRBSIs were caused by:
- Improper maintenance of lines or ports (29%);
- Failure to remove lines when no longer needed (21%);
- Poor preparation of lines and ports (19%); and
- Equipment malfunction (4%) (Aizenman, Washington Post, 7/13).
The survey also found that:
- 40% of respondents said their facility is "actively focused" on efforts to the infections;
- 71% said their facility had a formal written policy on such infections; and
- 48% said such infections are "somewhat" of a problem at their facility, compared with 12% who said the infections are not a problem at all ("Health Blog," Wall Street Journal, 7/12).
Respondents reported that the "greatest challenges" to successful implementation of infection prevention strategies were:
- Enforcing prevention policies;
- Educating staff; and
- Conducting infection surveillance using a paper-based system, which makes it difficult to track infections in real time (Washington Post, 7/13).