Study: Infections increase death risk by 35% for ICU patients

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

January 7, 2015

Elderly patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) are about 35% more likely to die within five years of leaving the hospital if they develop an infection during their stay, according to a report from Infection Control Today.


The report, which chronicles a study published in the January 2015 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, suggests that preventing two of the most common healthcare-acquired infections—namely bloodstream infections caused by central lines and pneumonia caused by ventilators—can increase the odds that these patients survive and reduce the cost of their care by more than $150,000.

While 57% of all the elderly ICU patients died within five years, the researchers found that infections made death more likely, the report said. Of those who developed infections, up to 77% died within five years. By contrast, effective infection control efforts resulted in a gain of up to 15 years of life for patients, according to the report.