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Effect of Nosocomial Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcal Bacteremia on Mortality, Length of Stay, and Costs

  • Xiaoyan Song (a1), Arjun Srinivasan (a1) (a2), David Plaut (a3) and Trish M. Perl (a1) (a4) (a5)

To determine the impact of vancomycin-resistant enterococcal bacteremia on patient outcomes and costs by assessing mortality, excess length of stay, and charges attributable to it.


A population-based, matched, historical cohort study.


A 1,025-bed, university-based teaching facility and referral hospital.


Two hundred seventy-seven vancomycin-resistant enterococcal bacteremia case-patients and 277 matched control-patients identified between 1993 and 2000.


The crude mortality rate was 50.2% and 19.9% for case-patients and control-patients, respectively, yielding a mortality rate of 30.3% attributable to vancomycin-resistant enterococcal bacteremia. The excess length of hospital stay attributable to vancomycin-resistant enterococcal bacteremia was 17 days, of which 12 days were spent in intensive care units. On average, $77,558 in extra charges was attributable to each vancomycin-resistant enterococcal bacteremia. To adjust for severity of illness, 159 pairs of case-patients and control-patients, who had the same severity of illness (All Patient Refined-Diagnosis Related Group complexity level), were further analyzed. When patients were stratified by severity of illness, the crude mortality rate was 50.3% among case-patients compared with 27.7% among control-patients, accounting for an attributable mortality rate of 22.6%. Attributable excess length of stay and charges were 17 days and $81,208, respectively.


Vancomycin-resistant enterococcal bacteremia contributes significantly to excess mortality and economic loss, once severity of illness is considered. Efforts to prevent these infections will likely be cost-effective.

Corresponding author
Department of Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Carnegie 288, 600 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21287
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Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology
  • ISSN: 0899-823X
  • EISSN: 1559-6834
  • URL: /core/journals/infection-control-and-hospital-epidemiology
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