Get Infected, Stay in the Hospital

A new report on healthcare-acquired infections (HAI’s) tallies up their financial and mortality toll. The report confirms what’s already been known – patients who get an infection while in the hospital have to stay in hospital longer – and also reveals it’s worse than many of us thought.

Turns out that adults who get an HAI while in the hospital had to stay in the hospital an average of 19 days longer than those who didn’t get an infection, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Moreover, the report on 2007 data shows those adults are six times more likely to die while in the hospital. Not surprisingly, costs associated with an HAI were $43,000 higher per patient.

Amid these grim numbers there was a bit of good news: AHRQ reported a decline in the rate of infections among medical and surgical discharges after a peak in 2004 and 2005.

More on this from Infection Control Today magazine at, and from AHRQ’s new statistical brief, “Adult Hospital Stays with Infection Due to Medical Care, 2007” PDF at