Hospital-acquired Infections = Longer Stay

ROCKVILLE, Md., Aug. 28 (UPI) — U.S. patients who acquired infections while hospitalized had to stay an average of 19 days longer than those who didn’t get an infection, officials say.

A report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, says for patients with a hospital-acquired infection, the rate of death in the hospital, on average, was six times as high as the rate for patients without an infection.

The report finds the cost of a hospital stay for a person without an infection acquired in the hospital is, on average, $9,377, but treating an infection acquired in the hospital costs about $43,000 more than the original treatment cost.

Federal health officials say:

– In 2007, about 45 percent of patients with hospital-acquired infections were 65 or older, 33 percent were ages 45-64 and 22 percent were ages 18-44.

– The top three diagnoses in hospitalized adult patients who acquired infections were septicemia, bacteria in the blood, at 12 percent; adult respiratory failure at 6 percent; and complications from surgical procedures or medical treatment at 4 percent.

– The infection rate peaked in 2004 and 2005 at 2.3 per 1,000 stays but declined to 2.03, a rate similar to that of 2000.

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