Journal Article

Long-Term Acute Care Hospitals

Robert A. Weinstein and L. Silvia Munoz-Price

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 49, issue 3, pages 438-443
Published in print August 2009 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online August 2009 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1086/600391
Long-Term Acute Care Hospitals

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Long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs) are health care facilities that admit complex patients with acute care needs (eg, mechanical ventilator weaning, administration of intravenous antibiotics, and complex wound care) for a mean duration of stay of 25 days. LTACHs are different than nursing homes and were initially created in the 1990s in an effort to decrease Medicare costs by facilitating prompt discharge from intensive care units of patients with difficulty weaning mechanical ventilation; however, current admission diagnoses are quite broad. Patients admitted to these facilities have multiple comorbidities and are at risk for colonization with multidrug-resistant organisms. LTACH patients have been shown to have high rates of hospital-acquired infections, including central vascular catheter-associated bloodstream infection and ventilator-associated pneumonia. In addition, LTACHs have been implicated in various regional outbreaks of multidrug-resistant organisms. This review summarizes the limited amount of scientific literature on LTACHs while highlighting their infection control problems, as well as the role LTACHs play on regional outbreaks.

Journal Article.  3065 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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