News & Innovation

The truth behind healthcare-associated infections

November 29, 2021

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) represent a significant burden to public health globally in terms of both patient safety and healthcare expenditures: 

  • HAIs affect 3.2 million European patients annually1—one in every twenty!2    
  • HAI-associated costs are estimated at €7 billion in Europe alone.3 
  • HAIs can almost triple the length of stays for hospitalised patients and almost double the rate of patient readmission.4 

Catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs) account for 10 to 20% of HAIs in the UK.5 They are an important clinical problem resulting in significant morbidity, mortality and excess economic cost.6

As up 90% of hospital inpatients require intravenous therapy, this routine procedure can potentially become a life-threatening complication.7

Yet, it doesn’t have to be this way!  Many vascular access complications are preventable. 

Hospitals have been shown to experience complication rates as high as 62% as a result of practice variation.8 By standardising procedures and processes and advocating for evidence-based best practice vascular access, you can help lower complication rates9 and ease the burden of intravenous complications on your patients, your hospital and the healthcare system as a whole.   



  1. Kritsokatis EI, et al. Prevalence, incidence burden, and clinical impact of healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial resistance: a national prevalent cohort study in acute care hospitals in Greece. Infect Drug Resist 2017;10:317-28
  2. Cassini A, et al. Burden of Six Healthcare-Associated Infections on European Population Health: Estimating Incidence-Based Disability- Adjusted Life Years through a Population Prevalence-Based Modelling Study PLoS Med 2016; 13(10):e1002150
  3. World Health Organization. Health care-associated infections FACT SHEET. Accessed on June 7, 2019 at
  4. Rahmqvist M, et al. Direct health care costs and length of hospital stay related to health care-acquired infections in adult patients based on point prevalence measurements. Am J Infect Control 2016;44(5):500-6
  5. Gahlot R, et al. Catheter-related bloodstream infections. Int J Crit Illn Inj Sci 2014;4(2):162-7
  6. Rupp ME, Karnatak R. Intravascular Catheter-Related Bloodstream Infections. Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2018 Dec;32(4):765-787. doi: 10.1016/j.idc.2018.06.002. Epub 2018 Sep 18. PMID: 30241718.
  7. Helm RE, Klausner JD, Klemperer JD, Flint LM, Huang E. Accepted but unacceptable: peripheral IV catheter failure. J Infus Nurs 2015;38:189–203.
  8. Oyler V, Nagar T, Nedbalek C, et al. Improving Vascular Access Outcomes for Patients, Healthcare Workers, and the Institution. Poster published by: University of Kansas Health System Health; 2017; Kansas City, KS
  9. Platt V. Safety and Infusion Excellence Reducing Risks and Improving Outcomes. Poster published by: University of Florida Health; 2017; Jacksonville, FL.