Over a 7-year period (1978-1984) the authors studied the rates of nosocomial bloodstream infections in acute-care hospitals participating in a statewide surveillance network in Virginia. A total of 4,617 hospital-acquired bloodstream infections were documented among 1,807,989 patients at risk for an overall rate of 25.5 cases per 10,000 patient admissions/discharges (annual range = 22.1 to 30.7). Compliance of reporting for Virginia hospitals averaged 58% (1 to 5 monthly reports in a study year), and 39% (≥6 monthly reports annually). Significant changes in bloodstream infection rates (cases per 10,000 patient admissions/discharges) due to specific pathogens included the following: coagulase-negative staphylococci increased from a rate of 1.3 to 4.5 (P=.0003), and those due to all gram-positive cocci increased from a rate of 7.5 to 11.4 (P=.03). Candida species increased from a rate of 0.1 to 1.5 (P=.005). The data show a continuing rise of nosocomial Candida BSI and clearly document the re-emergence of gram-positive cocci as major nosocomial bloodstream pathogens.
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