Objectives: To determine the burden of disease and trend over time for rates of Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream (SAB) infections in Victorian health care services.
Design and setting: Uniform data on all SAB infection events (methicillin-sensitive and methicillin-resistant isolates) were collected from all public and some private hospitals in Victoria using a standardised electronic data collection tool. Data were analysed for the period 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2012.
Main outcome measures: Overall and quarterly aggregate SAB and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) bloodstream infection rates per 10,000 occupied bed-days (OBDs); rates of health care-associated (HA) infections compared with a benchmark of no more than 2/10,000 OBDs.
Results: Data from 119 public and four private hospitals were analysed. The cumulative aggregate SAB infection rate was 1.0/10,000 OBDs (95% CI, 0.9-1.0/10,000 OBDs). Overall, 1335/3205 SAB infection events (41.7%) were health care-associated. Of these, 26.2% occurred within 48 hours of hospitalisation and were most frequently associated with an indwelling medical device. Quarterly HA-SAB infection rates diminished from 1.4 to 0.7/10,000 OBDs (P < 0.001). A median of four health care services each quarter exceeded the benchmark of 2.0/10,000 OBDs. HA-MRSA bloodstream infection rates diminished from 0.4 to 0.1/10,000 OBDs (P < 0.001), with a cumulative aggregate rate of 0.2/10,000 OBDs.
Conclusions: Continuous surveillance for SAB infection showed a significant reduction in rates across Victoria during the first 3 years of a coordinated program. Early onset, device-related SAB infections are an important target for prevention strategies.