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J Hosp Infect. 2006 Jun;63(2):124-32. Epub 2006 Apr 18.

Cost of intensive care unit-acquired bloodstream infections.

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Department of Critical Care Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary Health Region, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


Intensive care unit-acquired (ICU-acquired) bloodstream infections (BSI) are an important complication of critical illness. The objective of this study was to quantify the excess length of stay, mortality and cost attributable to ICU-acquired BSI. A matched cohort study was conducted in all adult ICUs in the Calgary Health Region between 1 May 2000 and 30 April 2003. One hundred and forty-four patients with ICU-acquired BSI were matched (1:1) to patients without ICU-acquired BSI. Patients with ICU-acquired BSI had a significantly increased median length of ICU stay {15.5 [interquartile range (IQR) 8-26] days vs 12 [IQR 7-18.5] days, P=0.003} and median costs of hospital care [85,137 dollars (IQR 45,740-131,412 dollars) vs 67,879 dollars (IQR 35,043-115,915 dollars, P=0.02) compared with patients without ICU-acquired BSI. The median excess length of ICU stay was two days and the median cost attributable to ICU-acquired BSI was 12,321 dollars per case. Sixty (42%) of the cases died compared with 37 (26%) of the controls [P=0.002, attributable mortality 16%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 5.9-26.0%]. Patients with ICU-acquired BSI were at increased risk for in-hospital death (odds ratio=2.64, 95%CI 1.40-5.29). Among survivor-matched pairs, the median excess lengths of ICU and hospital stay attributable to development of ICU-acquired BSI were two and 13.5 days, respectively, and the attributable cost due to ICU-acquired BSI was 25,155 dollars per case survivor. Critically ill patients who develop ICU-acquired BSI suffer excess morbidity and mortality, and incur significantly increased healthcare costs. These data support expenditures on infection prevention and control programmes and further research into reducing the impact of these infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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