Healthcare-associated infections hit smaller community hospitals hardest during pandemic, study finds

Smaller community hospitals have been most affected by the COVID-19-related uptick in healthcare-associated infections, a study published Aug. 23 in Clinical Infectious Diseases found.

Researchers analyzed 53 hospitals in the Southeastern U.S. for reports of central-line-associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, C. difficile infections and ventilator-associated events from Jan. 1, 2018, to March 31, 2021.

Three key findings: 

  • CLABSIs and VAEs increased by 24 percent and 34 percent, respectively, during the pandemic.

  • CDIs increased by 4.2 percent per month during the pandemic.

  • CAUTIs did not change significantly during the pandemic across all hospital types.

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