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Report on HAI Rates in U.S Hospitals in 2021

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A new CDC analysis reveals continued increases in healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in U.S. hospitals during 2021, the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Data from CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) show significantly higher incidence in central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), ventilator-associated events (VAEs), and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia in 2021 compared to 2019.

These increases corresponded with periods of high COVID-19 hospitalizations and were especially elevated during the first and third quarters of 2021. Data also revealed strong declines in Clostridioides difficile (C. diff), likely due to pandemic-related improvements in hand hygiene, personal protective equipment (PPE) practices, and environmental cleaning in healthcare settings.

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