Healthcare-Associated Infections

Healthcare-associated infections (H.A.I.s) are infections that patients get while they are receiving healthcare. The CDC is committed to helping all Americans receive the best and safest care, and H.A.I.s are a major, yet often preventable, threat to patient safety. H.A.I. data detail progress toward the ultimate goal of eliminating HAIs. While there are many kinds of H.A.I.s, data on this portal focus on particular infections occurring across the U.S. that are reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).

CDC provides national leadership in surveillance, outbreak investigations, laboratory research, and prevention of H.A.I.s. CDC also uses knowledge gained through these activities to detect infections and develop new strategies to prevent H.A.I.s. Public health action by CDC and other healthcare partners has led to improvements in clinical practice, medical procedures, and the ongoing development of evidence-based infection control guidance.

Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections

What is a Central Line?

A central line (also known as a central venous catheter) is a catheter (tube) that doctors often place in a large vein in the neck, chest, or groin to give medication or fluids or to collect blood for medical tests.

What is a Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infection (CLABSI)?

A central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) is a serious infection that occurs when germs (usually bacteria or fungi) enter the bloodstream through a central line. Healthcare providers must follow a strict protocol when inserting the line to make sure the line remains sterile and a CLABSI does not occur. In addition to inserting the central line properly, healthcare providers must use stringent infection control practices each time they check the line or change the dressing.
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Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection involving any part of the urinary system, including urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys. UTIs are the most common type of healthcare-associated infection reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). The most important risk factor for developing a catheter-associated UTI (CAUTI) is prolonged use of a urinary catheter. Therefore, catheters should only be used for appropriate indications and should be removed as soon as they are no longer needed.
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Surgical Site Infections

A surgical site infection (SSI) is an infection that occurs after surgery in the part of the body where the surgery took place. Surgical site infections can sometimes be superficial infections involving the skin only. Other surgical site infections are more serious and can involve tissues under the skin, internal organs, or implanted material. CDC provides guidelines and tools to the healthcare community to help prevent surgical site infections and resources to help the public understand these infections and take measures to safeguard their own health when possible.

Abdominal Hysterectomy

Abdominal Hysterectomy infections are one of two SSI types that are reported by all or most acute care hospitals in most states in the U.S.

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Colon Surgery

Colon surgery infections are one of two SSI types that are reported by all or most acute care hospitals in most states in the U.S.

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Clostridioides difficile Infections

Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile) is the leading cause of HAIs in the US. Those most at risk are people, especially older adults, who take antibiotics and receive medical care. C. difficile is a bacterium that causes inflammation of the colon, known as colitis.
C. difficile bacteria form spores that can survive for long periods in the environment, including on surfaces in healthcare settings. People can become infected if they touch items or surfaces that are contaminated with feces and then touch their mouth or mucous membranes. Healthcare workers can spread the bacteria to patients or contaminate surfaces through hand contact.
CDC provides guidelines and tools to the healthcare community to help prevent C. difficile infections as well as provides resources to help the public safeguard their own health.
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MRSA Bacteremia

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics. In a healthcare setting, such as a hospital or nursing home, MRSA can cause serious infections such as bloodstream infections, pneumonia and surgical site infections. If not treated quickly, MRSA infections can cause sepsis and death. MRSA is usually spread between patients via the hands of healthcare providers that become contaminated after touching an infected wound or a contaminated surface. Also, people who carry MRSA but do not have signs of infection can spread the bacteria to others.
CDC provides guidelines and tools to the healthcare community to help prevent MRSA infections as well as provides resources to help the public safeguard their own health.
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Ventilator-Associated Events

When a medical problem makes it hard or impossible for a patient to breathe on their own, they may be placed on a special breathing machine called a ventilator to save their life. This usually involves placing a tube in the patient’s airway, and attaching the tube to the ventilator. Patients on ventilators are usually very sick, and they can develop problems related to their illness or related to being on a ventilator. This includes infections such as pneumonia or other problems such as fluid buildup in the lungs.
The National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) monitors Ventilator-Associated Events (VAE), identified by using a combination of objective criteria such as deterioration in respiratory status after a period of stability or improvement on the ventilator, evidence of infection or inflammation, and laboratory evidence of respiratory infection.
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locations of diseases within human body