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Antibiotic-Resistant Infections Cost the U.S. Healthcare System in Excess of $20 Billion Annually
Date:10/19/2009

BOSTON and DURHAM, N.C., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics (APUA) and Cook County Hospital (currently John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County), today announced the release of an eye-opening study on the economic impact of antibiotic overuse and antibiotic-resistant infections (ARIs) sponsored by an unrestricted educational grant from bioMerieux and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The authors conducted an exhaustive chart-by-chart review of 1,391 patients hospitalized in the year 2000, 188 of which had ARIs (13.5%). The medical costs attributed to these ARIs ranged from $18,588 to $29,069 per patient, while the duration of hospital stay was extended 6.4 - 12.7 days for affected patients. Additionally, the excess mortality attributed to ARIs alone was 6.5% -- a death rate two-fold higher than in patients without ARIs. The authors also estimated the societal costs incurred at this hospital as a result of the ARIs to be between $10.7 and $15 million, which is the cost that hits the families of those infected.

The study, titled "Hospital and Societal Costs of Antimicrobial Resistant Infections in a Chicago Teaching Hospital: Implications for Antibiotic Stewardship," analyzed the medical and human cost associated with ARIs. It was conducted at the Cook County (Stroger) Hospital of Chicago, IL. Several studies have looked at the medical costs of these infections, but this is the first to look at the cost to families as well.

Antibiotic resistance is fueled by misuse and overuse of antibiotics. Bacteria become resistant to the very medicines developed to treat and cure the infection they cause. ARIs include methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), and a growing number of additional pathogens that are developing resistance to many common antibiotics.

The study will be published in the
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SOURCE bioMerieux
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