Hospital-acquired infections caused by antibacterial-resistant microorganisms are associated with high mortality and morbidity rates and markedly affect hospital economics. The expense became greater in 2008 when reimbursement for treatment of hospital-acquired infections was no longer provided by Medicare. Infections caused by cross-contamination with resistant bacteria can be eliminated by 3 methods: kill the bacteria before resistance develops, stop bacteria from communicating and acquiring resistance, and eliminate the pathway from one patient to another. Because electrocardiography wires cannot be completely disinfected 100% of the time, they may be contributing to the growth of resistant bacteria. The many pathways provided by reusable wires for cross-contamination with resistant bacteria increase the risk for hospital-acquired infection when these wires are used. Disposable electrocardiography leads eliminate risk of infection through these pathways. Adoption of disposable electrocardiography leads as an adjunct to an overall infection control program can decrease infection rates in acute health care facilities.

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