Bloomberg News

Common Hospital-Acquired Infections Fell Last Year, U.S. Says

October 19, 2011

Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- The rate of four common infections acquired in U.S. hospitals dropped in 2010 as health-care workers took more steps to prevent them, the Department of Health and Human Services said.

The number of hospital patients who caught methicillin- resistant Staphylococcus aureus, known as MRSA, declined by 18 percent to 21.46 infections per 100,000 people, the government said today in a report. Hospitals are on schedule to meet the department’s goal of reducing hospital-acquired MRSA infections by 50 percent by the end of 2013, according to the report.

Hospitals also reported a 33 percent reduction in bloodstream infections caused by the insertion of central lines as workers took more preventive steps such as hand-washing and the use of gloves, gowns, caps and masks. A central line is a tube inserted into a large vein in a patient’s neck or chest. Surgical-site infections also fell by 10 percent last year, while urinary-tract infections from catheters declined by 7 percent.

“Hospitals continue to make impressive progress in driving down certain infections in intensive care units through implementation of CDC prevention strategies,” Thomas R. Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said today in an e-mail.

--Editors: Adriel Bettelheim, Bruce Rule

To contact the reporter on this story: Molly Peterson in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Adriel Bettelheim at

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