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Am J Infect Control. 2000 Dec;28(6):454-8.

Multicenter surveillance study for nosocomial infections in major hospitals in Korea. Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Committee of the Korean Society for Nosocomial Infection Control.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



The goals of a surveillance for nosocomial infections (NIs) are to observe the magnitude and characteristics of NIs and to plan and evaluate policies and guidelines of infection control. This study was designed to determine the rate and distribution of NIs and their causative pathogens in Korean hospitals.


Prospective surveillance was performed at 15 acute care hospitals with more than 500 beds during a 3-month period from June to August 1996. The case-finding methods were laboratory-based surveillance for patients in the general wards and a direct review of medical charts done regularly for all the patients in the intensive care units.


A total of 3162 NIs were found among 85,547 discharged patients, with an overall nosocomial infection rate of 3.70 per 100 patients discharged. Urinary tract infections constituted 30.3% of all NIs. Other infections were pneumonias, 17.2%, surgical site infections, 15.5%, and primary bloodstream infections, 14.5%. The infection rate was the highest in neurosurgery (14.21), followed by neurology (8. 62) and ontology services (6.70). The infection rate in intensive care units was higher than it was in the general wards (10.74 vs 2. 57, P =.001). The commonly isolated organisms were Staphylococcus aureus (17.2%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (13.8%), and Escherichia coli (12.3%).


This first multicenter surveillance study provided extensive information on the current status and trends of NIs in major hospitals in Korea. The results may contribute to the evaluation of infection control programs and the development of effective strategies in these hospitals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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