In the United States, long-term care residents continue to outnumber the number of patients in the acute care setting. Infections in long-term care facilities occur at rates similar to those found in acute care hospitals ranging in incidence from 1.8-9.4 1000 patient-care days (1-4). Urinary tract infections (UTI) occur most often followed by infections of the respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, or soft-tissue infection. It has been estimated that 10-30% of nursing facility residents die each year, but how often infection contributes to mortality rates is not known (1). Pneumonia has been reported to result in death in 6-23% of cases, whereas bacteremia has been associated with death in 10-25% of cases (1,4). This chapter discusses the prevention and control of common infectious problems in the long-term care setting. The reader should refer to related chapters in this book for in-depth discussion of the diagnosis and treatment of specific clinical syndromes and pathogens.
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