Four common infections seen in health care facilities declined in 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday.

The CDC reported:

• A 33 percent reduction in central line-associated bloodstream infections. There was a 35 percent reduction of CLABSI among critical care patients and a 26 percent reduction among noncritical care patients;

• A 7 percent reduction in catheter-associated urinary tract infections throughout hospitals;

• A 10 percent reduction in surgical-site infections;

• An 18 percent reduction in the number of people developing health care-associated invasive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections.

In addition, adherence to proven infection-prevention measures improved. For example, the use of appropriate techniques for inserting central-line catheters into patients climbed to more than 94 percent. Two additional infections currently are being tracked, the CDC reported, including Clostridium difficile infections and MRSA bloodstream infections, and data on these infections will be available next year. 

 "Hospitals continue to make impressive progress in driving down certain infections in intensive care units through implementation of CDC prevention strategies," said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D. "Hospitals and state health departments need to translate this progress to other areas of health care delivery and health care infections, such as dialysis and ambulatory surgery centers, and diarrheal infections such as C. difficile."

John Combes, M.D., American Hospital Association senior vice president and senior fellow at the Health Research and Educational Trust, said the data "reflects the enormous amount of work and effort by hospitals, physicians, nurses and other caregivers."

For a detailed summary of the infection data reported by the CDC, go to http://www.hhs.gov/ash/initiatives/hai/nationaltargets/index.htm.