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General Information

Washing hands.

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are infections that patients develop during the course of receiving healthcare treatment for other conditions. HAIs are the most common complication of hospital care. They can happen anywhere healthcare treatment is provided including in hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, dialysis centers, long-term care facilities, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and community clinics. They can also occur during the course of treatment at home. They can be caused by a wide variety of common and unusual bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

How many people are affected nationally?

Healthcare-Associated InfectionsThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s HAI prevalence survey provides a national estimate of HAIs in U.S. acute care hospitals. In 2011, the survey found that on any given day, approximately 1 in 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection. There were an estimated 722,000 HAIs in U.S acute care hospitals in 2011; nearly 75,000 hospital patients with HAIs died during their hospitalizations. More than half of all HAIs occurred outside of the intensive care unit. HAIs result in an estimated $30 billion in excess healthcare costs nationally each year.

To read the full report, please visit: CDC HAI Prevalence Survey: Magill SS, Edwards JR, Bamberg W, et al. Multistate Point-Prevalence Survey of Health Care–Associated Infections. N Engl J Med 2014;370:1198-208.