Timeline of health care–associated infections and pathogens after burn injuries

David van Duin, Paula D. Strassle, Lauren M. DiBiase, Anne M. Lachiewicz, William A. Rutala, Timothy Eitas, Robert Maile, Hajime Kanamori, David J. Weber, Bruce A. Cairns, Sonia Napravnik, Samuel W. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Background Infections are an important cause of morbidity and mortality after burn injuries. Here, we describe the time line of infections and pathogens after burns. Methods A retrospective study was performed in a large tertiary care burn center from 2004-2013. Analyses were performed on health care–associated infections (HAIs) meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria and on all positive cultures. Incidence rates per 1,000 days were calculated for specific HAI categories and pathogens and across hospitalization time (week 1, weeks 2-3, and week ≥4). Results Among 5,524 patients, the median burn size was 4% of total body surface area (interquartile range, 2%-10%). Of the patients, 7% developed an HAI, of whom 33% had >1 HAI episode. Gram-positive bacteria were isolated earlier, and gram-negative bacteria were isolated later during hospitalization. Of 1,788 bacterial isolates, 44% met criteria for multidrug resistance, and 23% met criteria for extensive drug resistance. Bacteria tended to become increasingly resistant to antibiotics as time from admission increased. Conclusions We observed differences in infection type, pathogen, and antibiotic-resistant bacterium risk across time of hospitalization. These results may guide infection prevention in various stages of the postburn admission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1511-1516
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Infection Control
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec 1


  • Bloodstream infection
  • Burn
  • Health care–associated infection
  • Intensive care unit
  • Pneumonia
  • Timing


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