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Volume 7, Number 2—April 2001
4th Decennial International Conference on Nosocomial and Healthcare-Associated Infections


The Impact of Hospital-Acquired Bloodstream Infections

Richard P. WenzelComments to Author  and Michael B. Edmond
Author affiliations: Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA

Main Article

Table 3

Handwashing and nosocomial bloodstream infections and deaths

No. of lives saved No. of lives saved
Attributable if 25% of BSIa  if 50% of BSI
mortality rate (%) Expected deaths occur in ICUsb occur in ICUs
15 1,875 469 938
20 2,500 625 1,250
25 3,125 781 1,562
30 3,750 937 1,874

aBSI = Bloodstream infections; ICU = Intensive-care unit.
bAssumptions in this analysis: 50,000 (25%) or 100,000 (50%) of BSI occur in ICUs, and a 25% increase in handwashing prevented 25% of BSIs. Known (14): In ICUs, a 28% increase in handwashing was related to a reduction of risk of BS1 of 56/10,000 ICU admissions, a reduced attack rate of 45%, and a reduced incidence density rate of 22%.

Main Article