Average nosocomial infection falls just under $14,000

BSIs come in at a whopping $38,703

Because bloodstream infections are the most expensive nosocomial infection, infection control professionals who strive to prevent them are probably getting the most bang for their department budget buck.

Economic researchers conducted an audit on the issue, reviewing the published evidence of the attributable cost of nosocomial infections.1 A search of MEDLINE and HealthSTAR was conducted using medical subject headings or text words "nosocomial infections," "infection control," or "hospital acquired infections" cross-referenced with "costs," "cost analysis," "economics," or "cost-effectiveness analysis." Published review articles also were searched. Inclusion criteria included that the text was published in English from 1990 to 2000. Results were standardized into a common currency. Overall, 55 studies were analyzed. The mean cost of the following infections was then determined:

Nosocomial infection (in general) $13,973
Bloodstream $38,703
MRSA $35,367
Pneumonia $17,677
Surgical site $15,646

Reference

1. Stone PW, Larson E, Kawar LN. A systematic audit of economic evidence linking nosocomial infections and infection control interventions: 1990-2000. Am J Infect Control 2002; 30:145-152.