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 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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