The Prevalence of Healthcare-Associated and other Airborne Infections
In spite of their importance to patient morbidity and mortality and the cost of healthcare, we have no single mandatory reporting mechanism that can deliver an overall burden estimate for all types of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in the United States. Prevalence data are considered valuable for estimating the burden of HAIs because they incorporate both new and established infections. A point-prevalence survey measures the proportion of patients with HAIs on the day that data are collected. A point-prevalence survey also permits gathering related data of interest, such as the location of the patient; whether the patient has indwelling devices or catheters; whether the patient recently had surgery; and the treatment the patient is receiving, such as antibiotics.