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Number of healthcare-related infections declined in 2010

In 2010, the prevalence of four infections commonly seen in healthcare facilities declined, but more work is needed to eliminate healthcare-related illnesses.

At a policy summit held on October 19, 2011, in Washington, D.C., staff from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided details on how the reduction is occurring in heathcare facilities across the country.

"Hospitals continue to make impressive progress in driving down certain infections in intensive care units through implementation of CDC prevention strategies," said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden. "Hospitals and state health departments need to translate this progress to other areas of healthcare delivery and healthcare infections."

The CDC reported that in 2010, there was a 33 percent drop in central line-associated bloodstream infections, with a 35 percent reduction in critical care patients.

At the summit, officials also discussed how to boost patient safety and quality improvement. Denise Cardo, M.D., Director of CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion stated, “Preventing infections in healthcare saves lives and reduces healthcare costs.”

Healthcare workers can prevent the spread of infections by wearing appropriate safety products, such as masks, shields, and gloves, when working with infectious patients.

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