Hospital Acquired Infections

Each year, approximately 1.7 million Americans acquire infections from being in the hospital. Worse, 100,000 will die from these infections. More Americans die each year from hospital-acquired infections than from breast and colon cancer combined, making this one of the leading causes of disease and death.

Hospital-acquired infections or healthcare associated-infections (HAIs) occur after a patient arrives at the hospital. While many patients are at risk, those with compromised immune systems are at greater risk. Aside from the death toll, the economic drain on the healthcare system is staggering, with the annual direct cost of HAIs to US Hospitals estimated to be between $28 billion to $33 billion. And annual direct costs of HAIs worldwide in Europe, Japan and the developing nations are billions more. This worldwide problem is getting worse. With HAI rates two to five times higher in the developing world, this enormous strain threatens to further compromise already scarce financial and medical resources among our most vulnerable populations.

Many HAIs are linked to the use of medical devices such as endotracheal tubes, central venous catheters and urinary catheters that provide a breeding ground for bacteria and slime-like aggregations of bacteria known as biofilms, which are nearly impossible to kill with conventional antibiotics. Not only are current technologies, methods and drugs inadequate to address the problem, but also the foreseeable future entails an increase in multi-drug resistant pathogens coupled with a dramatic rise in the number of elderly immuno-compromised baby boomers.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the most common nosocomial infection experienced by patients in United States hospitals and are responsible for significant morbidity and excess hospital costs. Nearly 40% of healthcare associated infections (HAI) are urinary tract infections, or an estimated 600,000 patients per year. Catheter associated urinary tract infections account for 90% of these infections. Hospitals are willing to increase cost for a product initially to improve patient outcome, improve quality and save money.
Patients most likely to develop infections caused by drug-resistant microbes are those who are hospitalized in trauma centers, are age 65 and older, receive multiple antibiotics, require critical care therapy or extensive hospitalization, and/or undergo multiple invasive procedures. The use of invasive medical products such as urinary catheters increase a patient’s risk of developing an infection caused by drug-resistant microbes, as these surfaces all provide colonization areas for the pathogens.

Between 15-25% of hospitalized patients receive urinary catheters during their hospital stay. The most important risk factor for developing a catheter-associated UTI (CAUTI) is prolonged use of the urinary catheter.

Hospitals are now financially incentivized to prevent HAIs. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently stopped reimbursing hospitals for extra costs incurred due to certain HAIs, and this trend is expected to lead to a larger list of non-reimbursed HAIs. The recently-enacted Health Care Reform Act also provides higher reimbursement rates to hospitals with lower HAI rates, beginning in 2013. Thus, it is not surprising that leading suppliers of market research, such as Frost & Sullivan, have stated that they expect that nearly all medical devices will have an antimicrobial coating in the future to help prevent HAIs, that these products will command premium pricing, and that there is a strong market need for effective antimicrobial coatings.

Hospital Acquired Infections

Outbreak of Nightmare Bacteria in Chicago Caused By Hospitals
Chicago, Illinois sees an outbreak of an antibiotic resistant nightmare bacteria which is spread by fecal matter; not a usual contact outside of the hospital. The spread is perpetuated by hospital equipment and even perhaps by the uniforms worn by medical professionals. The bacteria is not only resistant to antibiotics, but also kills fifty percent of those who are infected by it.

About 20% of Medicare patients are readmitted within a month, costing $17.4 billion annually

Between 5 and 10 percent of all patients contract at least one hospital-acquired infection—also known as a healthcare-associated infection or nosocomial infection—during their stay in an acute care hospital.

Americans get an estimated 1.7 million healthcare-associated infections in the U.S. annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Each year these infections: Cause about 99,000 deaths and Cost from $35.7 to $45 billion in additional healthcare costs annually.

A new superbug is on the rise in U.S. hospitals, according to the CDC. The family of germs, dubbed CRE for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, evades some of the strongest antibiotics, making infections almost untreatable.

Over 50% of community acquired urinary tract infection caused by E. coli is caused by strains carrying ESBLs and these are frequently so resistant that oral therapy for the infection is not possible.