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 for the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018, focusing on cases associated with public hospitals. Summary analyses are also provided for the previous 4 years.

SAB 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 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 occurring in individual public hospitals and participating private hospitals is available from My Hospitals. Note that due to various administrative arrangements, SAB data for a small number of public hospitals included in counts within this report are not available through MyHospitals.

‘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 germs (bacteria, viruses, fungi) that cause diseases. Antibiotics are the most commonly prescribed antimicrobial.

Acknowledgements

Information about SAB cases 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 data through the National Staphylococcus aureus Bacteraemia Data Collection (NSABDC).