Health care-associated infections higher for patients hospitalized with COVID-19

Health care-associated infections higher for patients hospitalized with COVID-19

The incidence of health care-associated infections (HAIs) was higher among hospitalized patients with COVID-19 than for patients without COVID-19, according to a study published online April 13 in JAMA Network Open.

Kenneth E. Sands, M.D., from HCA Healthcare in Nashville, Tennessee, and colleagues assessed HAI occurrence among patients admitted to hospitals with and without COVID-19. The analysis included data from 5 million hospitalizations in 182 hospitals between 2020 and 2022.

The researchers found that the incidence of HAI was higher among those with COVID-19 versus those without. During the full study period, the incidence of central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) was nearly fourfold higher among the COVID-19 population than the non-COVID-19 population (25.4 versus 6.9 per 100,000 patient-days). Similar trends were seen for catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI; 16.5 versus 6.1) and for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia (11.2 versus 3.7). Using data only for the non-COVID-19 population, there was no difference in CLABSI incidence versus the same quarter in 2019, and the quarterly rates of MRSA and CAUTI were lower than the 2019 comparator quarter rates.

“Despite the strain on the health care system, the increase in HAIs was not observed in the non-COVID-19 population, suggesting that key safety processes were maintained and patients with COVID-19 may require additional protective care to prevent HAIs,” the authors write.

More information:
Kenneth E. Sands et al, Health Care–Associated Infections Among Hospitalized Patients With COVID-19, March 2020-March 2022, JAMA Network Open (2023). DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.8059

Journal information:
JAMA Network Open

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