Introduction

This report provides information and data visualisations for Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections (SAB also called S. aureus, or ‘golden staph’) associated with hospital care in Australia. It presents national information on healthcare-associated SAB infections for the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019, focusing on cases associated with public hospitals. Summary analyses are also provided for the previous 4 years.

SAB infection data for public hospitals are provided to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) by states and territories as part of the National Staphylococcus aureus Bacteraemia Data Collection (NSABDC). Private hospitals are also invited to supply SAB infection data to the AIHW, although currently their participation in the NSABDC is voluntary. More information about the NSABDC is provided in the Data quality summary.

Information relating to SAB infections occurring in individual public hospitals and participating private hospitals is available from MyHospitals. Note that due to various administrative arrangements, SAB infection data for a small number of public hospitals is not reported on MyHospitals but included in counts within this report.

‘Bloodstream infections’ vs ‘bacteraemia’

Previous editions of this report have used the term 'bacteraemia' for these infections. Wherever possible, this report uses the more accessible term 'bloodstream infections' rather than bacteraemia.

‘Antimicrobials’ vs ‘antibiotics’

Antimicrobials are medicines that kill or slow the growth of bacteria that cause diseases. Antibiotics are the most commonly prescribed antimicrobial.

Acknowledgements

Information about SAB infections is collected by hospital staff for infection surveillance purposes. The AIHW thanks state and territory health authorities and participating private hospitals and hospital groups for providing SAB infection data through the National Staphylococcus aureus Bacteraemia Data Collection (NSABDC).