The Cost of Responding to an Acinetobacter Outbreak in Critically Ill Surgical Patients

Yushan Jiang, Stephen Resch, Xiaoxia Liu, Selwyn O. Rogers, Reza Askari, Michael Klompas, Sudha P. Jayaraman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Our institution had an outbreak of multi-drug-resistant Acinetobacter (MDRA) in 2011. We analyzed the costs of responding to this outbreak from the hospital's perspective. Methods: We estimated retrospectively the excess costs associated with an MDRA outbreak response at a major academic medical center, including the costs of staffing, supplies, administrative time, deep cleaning, and environmental testing. Differences in mean costs before and during the 2011 MDRA outbreak were analyzed using the Student t-test. Results: The overall excess cost incurred during the outbreak response was $371,079 in 2011 U.S. dollars. The largest contributors were the extra resources needed to staff and clean the two intensive care units (ICUs) (78%). In the general surgery ICU, the mean weekly cost of nursing during the outbreak was $13,276 more for regular hours (+15%; p < 0.01) than in the pre-outbreak period and $2,682 more for overtime hours (+86%; p = 0.02). In the trauma ICU, the cost was $20,746 more for regular hours (+24%; p < 0.01) and $3,445 more for overtime hours (+124%; p < 0.01). The costs of supplies ($13,036; +30%; p = 0.03) and gloves ($2,572; +48%; p = 0.01) also were greater during the outbreak. Administrative time, consumables, use of a surge pod, and environmental testing accounted for the remainder of the extra costs. Conclusions: Our institution incurred $371,079 in excess costs as a result of an MDRA outbreak. This figure does not include the costs related to treatment of the infections, loss of reimbursement because of hospital-acquired infection, legal services, or changes in staff morale, patient satisfaction, or hospital reputation. Strategies to prevent and control such outbreaks better have substantial value.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-64
Number of pages7
JournalSurgical Infections
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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