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Can J Infect Dis. 2000 Jan;11(1):34-7.

The impact of health care restructuring on nosocomially acquired blood stream infections.

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University of Alberta, University of Alberta Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta.



To assess the impact of the health care restructuring, which occurred in Alberta in 1995, on the occurrence of nosocomial blood stream infection and risk factors for these infections at the University of Alberta Hospital.


Changes in patient population, hospital bed numbers, admissions and hospital days for 1993 and 1994 (1993/94) were compared with those for 1996 and 1997(1996/97). Central venous catheter (CVC) use in intensive care units (ICU), days of total parenteral nutrition (TPN) and hemodialysis were compared for the two time periods. Prospectively collected data obtained by monitoring blood culture results on nosocomial blood stream infections in 1993/94 were compared with those obtained in 1996/97.


Hospital bed number fell by 10% between 1993/94 and 1996/97. Annual admissions fell by 19% and patient days by 17%. Some services markedly increased patient days (neurosurgery 49%, nephrology 30%, orthopedic surgery 24%), and others markedly reduced patient days (obstetrics and gynecology 99%, ophthalmology 100%, adult medicine 41%, general paediatrics 38%). ICU use of CVCs increased by 41%, TPN days increased by 25% and hemodialysis runs increased by 9%. Annual nosocomial blood stream infections increased by 31% and the annual rate per 10,000 patient days increased by 60%. TPN-related blood stream infection rates and ICU CVC infection rates did not change from 1993/94 to 1996/97.


Hospital restructuring has been associated with a 31% increase in nosocomial blood stream infection number and a 60% increase in rate. The increase has been associated with a change in patient populations and increases in risk factors for blood stream infection.


Bacteremia; Epidemiology; Nosocomial infection; Restructuring

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