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Healthcare-associated Infections

Photo: A sink.

At any given time, about 1 in every 25 patients has an infection related to their hospital care. Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) not only affect patient lives, but also add to our growing healthcare costs. HAIs are commonly caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which may lead to sepsis or death. One in seven catheter- and surgery-related HAIs in acute care hospitals, and one in four catheter- and surgery-related HAIs in long-term acute care hospitals, is caused by any of six resistant bacteria (not including C. difficile).

CDC has identified eliminating HAIs as a Winnable Battle. Progress has been made in preventing HAIs, including a 50% decrease in central line-associated blood stream infections from 2008 to 2014, but more work is needed. With additional effort and support for evidence-based, cost-effective strategies that we can implement now, we can have a significant impact on our nation’s health.

The HAI Winnable Battle materials below provide a snapshot of the context and background for this priority area, as well as descriptions of some of the systems, policy, and programmatic interventions pursued by CDC and our public health partners at the federal, state and local levels.


Prevent healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) – Final Report
1 out of 25 hospitalized patients contracts an HAI.

Healthcare-Associated Infection (HAI) Overview Materials:

Vital Signs

For more information about the HAI Winnable Battle, please visit

If you have questions about the materials provided here, please contact