An examination of healthcare-associated infections in elderly patients


Abstract: Background/aim: Healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) are increasing due to the growing numbers of elderly people requiring long-term care and immunosuppressive therapies. The purpose of this study was to examine HCAIs occurring in elderly inpatients in our hospital.Materials and methods: This study prospectively investigated HCAIs developing in all patients hospitalized over a 1-year period. Diagnosis was based on Centers for Disease Control criteria. The results were subjected to statistical analysis between patients aged over and under 65.Results: A total of 24,692 patients were evaluated and 894 HCAIs were identified. Of these infections, 214 were seen in patients aged 65 or over. The rate of HCAIs in elderly patients was 15.1, compared to 2.9 in the under-65 patient group (P < 0.001). Seventy-nine (36.9%) infections in elderly patients were urinary system infections, 60 (28.0%) were bacteremia, 43 (20.1%) were pneumonia, 29 (13.6%) were surgical site infections, and 3 (1.4%) were other infections. Forty-three of the 187 elderly patients followed with a diagnosis of HCAI died. Seventeen patients had mortality attributable to HCAI. Conclusion: Awareness that HCAIs seen in the elderly have different clinical and microbiological characteristics than those of other patients, and the appropriate precautions being taken, will reduce the problems that may result from these diseases with high mortality and morbidity.

Keywords: Elderly patients, healthcare-associated infections, infection control

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