HARRISBURG, Pa (CBS) – Pennsylvania health officials say the number of hospital infections went down again last year.

New regulations for hospital-acquired infections took effect in Pennsylvania in 2008. The state Health Department says those infections dropped by 3.4% overall between 2009 and 2010.

Furthermore, says acting Pennsylvania Physician General Stephen Ostroff, “With the more serious infections that we monitor the most closely, especially bloodstream infections associated with what we call ‘central lines’, they went down by a very significant 24%.”

He says “central lines” are catheters that are inserted close to the heart and that those infections are most frequently associated with fatal outcomes and are the most costly in terms of hospitalization.

But Ostroff says the results are not as good with regard to another major category, surgical site infections, “In the 2010 report it’s actually the leading category of health care associated infections and part of the reason for that is because many of the other categories have gone down over time while this one has stayed pretty steady.”

Reported by Harrisburg Bureau Chief Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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