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Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infection (SABSI) prevention resources

Healthcare-associated Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infection (SABSI) is commonly associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Resources to support prevention of these infections in health service organisations play an important role; information on strategies to support these activities, and access to a range of resources, are included on this page. 

Both long-standing, and recent, literature support the value of sustained infection prevention and control practices in reducing the incidence of preventable SABSI.

Measures to prevent SABSI in health care include:

  • Hand hygiene to minimise transmission of microorganisms on healthcare worker’s hands
  • Optimal insertion, management and removal of intravascular devices
  • Preoperative methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) screening
  • Perioperative antimicrobial prophylaxis and targeted, appropriate antimicrobial therapy
  • Optimisation of surgical site management
  • Feedback on infection surveillance and reporting to clinicians.

The Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council endorsed a new national benchmark for healthcare-associated SABSI for public hospital reporting, which was implemented from 1 July 2020.

The current benchmark is 1.0 per 10,000 patient days.

To support implementation of the revised SABSI benchmark, the Commission has developed a compendium of resources to support SABSI prevention.

The Implementation Guide for the Surveillance of Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infection was first produced by the Commission in 2010 to support standardised national surveillance and reporting of this infection in Australian public hospitals. The 2021 Guide was developed in consultation with all Australian states and territories to support the implementation of the current national benchmark for healthcare-associated SABSI for public hospital reporting. An information sheet has been produced to outline what changes have been made in the 2021 Guide. The following Commission resources are available to support hospitals with their SABSI surveillance programs:

All states and territories will have a range of existing resources to further support SABSI prevention, such as maintaining skin integrity, wound care and invasive device management; check your state and territory health authority website.

If your organisation has relevant resources to contribute to this compendium, please email

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