DENVER — Denver hospitals are struggling to keep critical services flowing amid a nationwide health crisis.
A report by the National Governors Association released Thursday said that in the first three months of 2017, there were 7,200 reported infections in hospitals, a rate far higher than in any other year in the past five years.
The National Governors Office said it has seen a rise in the number of infections in a number of key areas, including in emergency rooms, emergency departments and surgical centers.
It said hospitals have seen the biggest increases in infections among patients admitted for the first time in January and February, and in the second half of 2017.
In January, the total number of confirmed cases for the month was 7,946.
That’s a 23% increase from the same month last year, the report said.
It said in February, the number was 6,636.
It also noted that more than 60% of those hospitalized had been admitted to a hospital for at least two months.
Those patients accounted for roughly half of the total hospitalizations, and those patients were most likely to be younger than 65, the agency said.
The report also said the number is more than four times the national average, with an average of nearly 2,000 new infections per day in the city of Denver alone.
Denver is one of only three major U.S. cities with a higher number of deaths per capita than hospitalizations.
That city has the highest number of cases per capita in the nation, with nearly 10,000 cases per day.
The health agency reported that the number has declined by more than 9% in Denver over the past year.