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Significant Decline in Healthcare-Associated Infections and other Medical Updates 2022

The year 2022 brought encouraging news concerning infection control in acute care hospitals in the USA, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Their report, emanating from data compiled from more than 38,000 healthcare institutions, revealed a significant decrease in various healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Noteably, there was a 19% decease in ventilator-associated incidents, a 16% decrease in instances of hospital-onset methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia, a 12% decrease in cases of catheter-associated urinary tract infections, a 9% decrease in occurrences of central line-associated bloodstream infections, and an additional 3% decrease in hospital-onset Clostridioides difficile (CDI) infections.

On the state level, 31 states showed improved performance in managing at least 2 types of infections in 2022 compared with 2021, with a notable 6 states improving their control over at least 4 types of HAIs. This represents a significant improvement following two years of substantial increases in HAIs in acute care establishments.

This upswing was primarily driven by the intense pressures brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic on hospital staffing and infection prevention efforts. Indeed, some facilities were forced to suspend their infection controlling endeavors entirely. However, the recent decline in HAIs points to hospitals managing to refocus their efforts on preventing these infections. While other healthcare settings, such as inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs), critical access hospitals, and long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs) have not made equivalent progress, they remain a focus for future infection prevention efforts.


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