SA Health monitors hospital infections

Thursday, 16 February 2017

SA Health will continue to monitor rates of healthcare associated infections in public hospitals following today’s release of the latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report into Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infection (SAB).

SA Health Chief Medical Officer Professor Paddy Phillips said most South Australian hospitals had improved their rates in comparison to previous years, highlighting the importance of maintaining good infection control practices in health care settings.

“Bloodstream infections are part of health care systems across the world, but something that we are continually working to reduce to ensure already unwell patients don’t become sicker,” Professor Phillips said.

“SAB is one of the more common bloodstream infections that may be associated with hospital care and we aim to have as few cases as possible.

“Our 2015-16 statewide average rate of 0.67 SAB cases per 10,000 days of patient care is below the national average of 0.73.”

Professor Phillips said healthcare associated bloodstream infections are more common in larger hospitals that treat the sickest patients.

“People with severe burns, complex wounds, or cancer patients are particularly at risk, so our major tertiary hospitals that care for these patients will always have higher rates of infection,” Professor Phillips said.

“Patients who develop bloodstream infections such as SAB are more likely to suffer complications that result in longer stays in hospital, and the most serious infections can result in death.

“This is why we have strict infection control procedures and pay so much attention to hand hygiene at all of our hospitals and community health care settings.”

For more information about SA Health infection control, please visit

To access the AIHW report, please visit


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