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Hospital Performance: Healthcare-associated Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections in 2013–14, In Focus

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Overview

Improvements in major hospitals drive 6% fall in Golden Staph cases

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), commonly known as ‘Golden Staph’, is a bacterium often found on the skin of healthy people and is relatively harmless unless it causes infection. Most cases can be treated by antibiotics. However, there are more serious antibiotic-resistant strains. Estimates suggest 20 to 35% of people who experience healthcare-associated S. aureus bloodstream infections die from this or a related cause.

The third report on healthcare-associated S. aureus bloodstream infections from the National Health Performance Authority includes information for more than 115 public hospitals across Australia in 2013–14. Information for more than and 580 public and 130 private hospitals is available on the MyHospitals website.

The report finds:

  • In 2013–14, 1,448 cases of healthcare-associated S. aureus bloodstream infection were reported by the 115 major and large public hospitals covered in this report, representing nearly 90% of the 1,621 cases reported in public hospitals nationally
  • At the 36 major public hospitals with more vulnerable patients, there were 972 cases of healthcare-associated S. aureus bloodstream infection compared to 338 cases at the 40 major hospitals with fewer vulnerable patients.

Infographic text

There were 100 fewer cases of healthcare-associated ‘Golden Staph’ bloodstream infections in 2013–14 compared to 2012–13.

The number of these potentially deadly healthcare-associated Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections fell from 1,721 in 2012–13 to 1,621 in 2013–14.