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Elderly ICU patients with infections at increased risk of death

admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) are about 35 percent more likely to die within five years of leaving the hospital if they develop an infection during their stay, a new study finds. Preventing two of the most common health care-associated infections – caused by central lines and pneumonia caused by ventilators – can increase the odds that these patients survive and reduce the cost of their care by more than $150,000, according to a study published in the January 2015 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

Effective infection prevention programs in the ICU can help elderly patients live longer and reduce the costs of care
Effective programs in the ICU can help elderly patients live longer and reduce the costs of care.
Credit: Columbia University School of Nursing


The paper is titled: “A decade of investment in infection prevention: A cost-effectiveness analysis,” and it was published in the official journal of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). Elaine Larson, PhD, RN, FAAN, CIC, associate dean for research at and professor of epidemiology in nursing at , is a co-author. Other co-authors are Eli N. Perencevich, MD, MS, Divisions of General Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine and Iowa City VA Medical Center; Monika Pogorzelska-Maziarz PhD, MPH, Jefferson School of Nursing, Thomas Jefferson University; and Jack Zwanziger, PhD, Health Policy and Administration, , University of Illinois at Chicago.

The research was funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research (R01NR010107). The authors declare no financial or other conflicts of interest.

Columbia University Medical Center