Infections in hospitals increased significantly while costs associated with infections grew substantially in the same time period, according to research to be published in the November issue of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
The number of infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus increased more than 7% each year from 1998 to 2003 while related costs grew 12% annually, according to a news release. At the same time, the rate of Staph-related, in-hospital mortality dropped 5% each year.
Researchers wrote in the journal, published by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, that the higher number of infections could be related to the increase of drug-resistant Staph infections or to improved hospital detection and reporting practices. Fewer deaths could be the result of more stringent infection-control programs or of appropriate early treatment, according to the study.
The researchers analyzed data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Qualitys nationwide inpatient sample database, containing data from about 7 million hospital stays annually. -- by Jean DerGurahian
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