Health officials have noted that rates of infection have decreased at healthcare facilities before the pandemic. During the pandemic, officials have reported that infections have in fact risen at hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
Looking at data that was collected from the National Healthcare Safety Network, researchers observed infections during every quarter. Researchers also compared every quarter of 2020 to 2019. 2021 data is not yet available for analyzing the report indicated. 1
The researchers noticed that the largest increase in infections was central line infections. Central line infections are associated when catheters are inserted into blood vessels that help provide fluids and even medicine over long periods. In the third and fourth quarters, central line infections were about 47% higher compared to the same time in 2019. 1
Additionally, in the fourth quarter, ventilator-associated infections rose 45% compared to the same time in 2019. More patients are requiring longer hospital visits, which are calling for longer use of medical equipment, like ventilators and catheters. 1
Researchers did report that there was not an increase in surgical-site infections and C. Diff and staph infections. Clostridioides Difficile is a bacterial infection that only happens after a patient is administered antibiotics. Experts agree that the no change in infections is due to a heightened awareness of cleanliness and hygiene as well as a decrease in surgical operations performed. 1
The report concluded that a rise in infections in 2020 is due to employment shortage, longer hospital visits, a higher volume of patients, and supply challenges during the pandemic. 1
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1Mensik, H. (2021, September 2). Pandemic spurs rise of other infections contracted at healthcare facilities. MedTech Dive. https://www.medtechdive.com/news/pandemic-spurs-rise-of-other-infections-contracted-at-healthcare-facilities/606009/