March 1st 2003
Each year, 2.4 million patients in the United States develop healthcare–associated infections (HAIs), requiring treatment at an annualcost of approximately $4.5 billion. HAI is the primary cause of deathin approximately 30,000 patients and contributes to the death of 70,000annually. Oncology patients are more susceptible than other patientsto HAIs due to compromised immune systems, surgery (drains),invasive technology (catheters), and environmental factors. This paperwill review each of these risk factors and discuss preventive steps suchas a predictive index, antibiotic therapy, and infection control practices.