The Burden of HAIs
Healthcare associated infections (HAIs) are infections acquired by patients during the course of receiving care for another condition, and can be contracted in a variety of ways. These infections, such as MRSA and C. diff, can be devastating and even deadly, and affect approximately 1 out of every 20 patients.1
In the U.S. each year, more people die from a lack of hospital infection control than from AIDS, breast cancer, and auto accidents combined, and have an estimated annual cost of $40 billion.
HOW HAIs SPREAD
Patients shed infectious pathogens into their surrounding environment. These organisms remain viable on inanimate objects for days to months, and can be transferred from the environment to Healthcare Workers Hands, and then to other patients.
THE ROLE THE ENVIRONMENT PLAYS
Recent studies have demonstrated that on average, about 50% of high-touch surfaces are cleaned, and even after cleaning, it was found 71% of VRE occupied rooms and 78% of C. diff occupied rooms still tested positive for VRE or C. diff.
Even after four rounds of disinfection with bleach, 25% of rooms were still contaminated with MRSA and Acinetobacter.
Sources: Carling PC. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. 29(1), 1-7. Eckstein BC. BMC Infectious Diseases, 7, 61. doi: 1471-2334-7-61. Manian F. ICHE, 32(7), 67-72.