Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that Connecticut is receiving more than $1.2 million in federal stimulus funds to bolster the public health response to illnesses and infections contracted during hospital stays and other health care settings.
“These funds will allow us to build upon our current efforts to safeguard patients from these sometimes life-threatening infections,” Governor Rell said. “The money will help advance efforts we have been making for several years now.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that health care-associated infections (HAI) account for an estimated 1.7 million infections and 99,000 associated deaths each year in U.S. hospitals. Connecticut Public Health officials say the most recent statistics available show that infection rates in medical and surgical intensive care units in Connecticut for central line blood stream infections have been at or lower than the national average.
Governor Rell said the funds, awarded to the state Department of Public Health, will allow the state to help hospitals better monitor and prevent HAIs, train and hire medical personnel with expertise in the field and enhance statewide surveillance and testing for pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile (C. diff).
A 2006 state law established a mandatory reporting system for HAIs, which required all 30 acute-care hospitals in the state to formally enroll in the National Health Care Safety Network System. In 2008, the hospitals began submitting bloodstream infection data from patients receiving care in a medical, medical-surgical or pediatric intensive care unit to the National Healthcare Safety Network.
For more information on HAIs, visit www.ct.gov/dph, and click on Healthcare Associated Infections under “Featured Links.”