After declining in recent years, antimicrobial-resistant infections starting during hospitalization grew 15% from 2019 to 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported today, based on limited data for 2020. 

“During the pandemic, hospitals experienced personal protective equipment supply challenges, staffing shortages, and longer patient stays,” the agency notes. “Hospitals also treated sicker patients who required more frequent and longer use of medical devices like catheters and ventilators. The impact of the pandemic likely resulted in an increase of healthcare-associated, antimicrobial-resistant infections.”

More than 90% of U.S. hospitals in 2020 had an antibiotic stewardship program aligned with CDC’s Core Elements of Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship, CDC said. The AHA released an antibiotic stewardship toolkit in 2014 to help hospitals and health systems enhance their antimicrobial stewardship programs based on the CDC core elements, and in 2017 partnered with CDC on guidance to help small and critical access hospitals implement programs to improve antibiotic prescribing and use and reduce the threat of antibiotic-resistant infections. For more AHA resources to promote appropriate use of medical resources, click here.
 

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