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Wednesday, November 05, 2008 9:00 AM

News and Numbers: Bloodstream Infections

Rand: Bloodstream infections are a serious and potentially deadly complication. These infections can occur when a central line catheter is placed into a large vein in a patient’s neck, chest or groin area to administer medication or fluids, or to collect blood samples. About a quarter of a million hospital patients get a bloodstream infection each year in the U.S., and up to 62,000 die as a result. Finding ways to reduce and prevent bloodstream infections is critical to saving lives. That’s why AHRQ has awarded nearly $3 million for a contract to help reduce central line-associated bloodstream infections in hospital intensive care units in at least 10 states. The 3-year project will continue work started by the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, where a similar program helped to reduce infection rates to zero in more than 50 hospital intensive care units within three months.

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