Hospital-acquired infection in Neonatal Intensive Care

A bacterial infection is an infection that occurs when bacteria affect any part of the body. Sometimes, newborn babies get infections while in the hospital. Infections such as sepsis (an infection in the blood stream) increase the risk of poor outcome or death.

About this measure

This measure tracks the percentage of very low birth weight babies (3 pounds, 3 ounces or less) who got an infection while in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Because the number of infants in this group is very small, a single complication can affect the overall complication rate measurably.

We track this measure through our participation in the Vermont Oxford Network (VON), a voluntary non-profit organization of over 700 neonatal intensive care units. VON is a collaboration dedicated to improving the quality and safety of the care delivered in neonatal intensive care units.

Note: In this case, a lower number is better.

Most Recent Available Data (Percent)
Northwestern Memorial 14
National Database Participant Comparison 11
Performance Trend (Percent)
  2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Northwestern Memorial 9.7 8.5 14 17 18 13 14
National Database Participant Comparison 20.1 19.5 18 16 14 12 11
Source:Vermont Oxford Network: Vermont-Oxford Network Database Summaries. Burlington, Vermont. (2006, 2007, 2008)
Nosocomial or hospital acquired infections (includes fungal infection and doesnot include early sepsis)