What Are The 4 Types of Healthcare-Associated Infections?

05/10/17 By Dana Szymkowiak

Fact: “On any given day, about one in 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection.” – CDC

There are 4 types of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) include central line-associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, and ventilator-associated pneumonia. You may know that infections may also occur at surgery sites, known as surgical site infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention works to monitor and prevent these infections because they are an important threat to patient safety.

What are the 4 types of HAI’s?

Breaking each down by the numbers and how we can help prevent their numbers from growing.

  1. Central Line-associated Bloodstream Infection (CLABSI)
  2. Catheter-associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI)
  3. Surgical Site Infection (SSI)
  4. Ventilator-associated Pneumonia (VAP)

In 2014, results of a project known as the HAI Prevalence Survey were published. The Survey described the burden of HAIs in U.S. hospitals, and reported that, in 2011, there were an estimated 722,000 HAIs in U.S. acute care hospitals (see chart below). Additionally, about 75,000 patients with HAIs died during their hospitalizations. More than half of all HAIs occurred outside of the intensive care unit.

HAI Estimates Occurring in US Acute Care Hospitals, 2011
Major Site of InfectionEstimated No.
Gastrointestinal Illness123,100
Urinary Tract Infections93,300
Primary Bloodstream Infections71,900
Surgical site infections from any inpatient surgery157,500
Other types of infections118,500
Estimated total number of infections in hospitals721,800

CDC’s annual National and State Healthcare-Associated Infections Progress Report (HAI Progress Report) describes national and state progress in preventing HAIs. Among national acute care hospitals, the most recent report  (2014 data, published 2016) found:

  • 50 percent decrease in central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) between 2008 and 2014
  • No change in overall catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) between 2009 and 2014
    • However, there was progress in non-ICU settings between 2009 and 2014, progress in all settings between 2013 and 2014, and even more progress in all settings towards the end of 2014
  • 17 percent decrease in surgical site infections (SSI) related to the 10 select procedures tracked in previous reports
    • 17 percent decrease in abdominal hysterectomy SSI between 2008 and 2014
    • 2 percent decrease in colon surgery SSI between 2008 and 2014
  • 8 percent decrease in hospital-onset Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infections between 2011 and 2014 
  • 13 percent decrease in hospital-onset methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia (bloodstream infections) between 2011 and 2014

The report also includes a national snapshot of HAIs in long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs) and inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs).

  • LTACHs: 9 percent decrease in CLABSI and an 11 percent decrease in CAUTI between 2013 and 2014
  • IRFs: 14 percent decrease in CAUTI between 2013 and 2014

As progress is made in reducing the number of HAI’s; we cannot slow down on policies and procedures. These types of infections can easily escalate out of control if not looked after and made a top priority.


Source: https://www.cdc.gov/hai/surveillance/