Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2013

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School



Molecular, Cellular and Biomedical Sciences

Program or Major

Biomedical Science

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Thomas G. Pistole


The purpose of this study was to investigate potential risk factors and analyze trends that are associated with nosocomial infection using an inferential statistical methodology that would allow for the identification and future tracking of the aforementioned trends. The raw data on which statistical analyses were performed was collected and aggregated by the National Healthcare Safety Network for the year 2011 (5)

The results of the statistical analyses revealed that many factors should be taken into account when considering the causes of nosocomial infection, in paticular, that the amount of aggregated hours a certain type of ward (burn, medical, surgical, etc.) logs using invasive devices (central intravenous lines, respirators, urinary catheters) is not sufficient to explain the relative frequencies of nosocomial infections. For example, burn wards and some types of pediatric wards were particularly outstanding in their increased incidences of infection, even after the number of hours was accounted for.

A second result of the statistical analyses was the creation of intervals using a modified Poisson distribution for which a year-to-year change in the frequency of infection would be considered random. If the results of a subsequent year fell outside of that interval, the conclusion would be that a fundamental shift had occurred.