Feds Release Startling Data on Hospital-Acquired Infections

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Federal data just released demonstrate the dangers of being hospitalized in America.

According to data collated from a 2011 study of 183 U.S. hospitals, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have determined that one in 25 hospital patients in the country will catch a potentially deadly infection while at the hospital.

Along with the methicillin-resistant staph infection Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile, The Washington Post broke down the infections found to be most common:

  • Pneumonia, 22 percent
  • Surgical site infections, 22 percent
  • Gastrointestinal infections, 17 percent
  • Urinary tract infections, 13 percent
  • Bloodstream infections, 10 percent

"You go to the hospital hoping to get better," said Dr. Micheal Bell of the CDC to NBC News. "Unfortunately that doesn't always happen. Although there has been some progress, today and every day, more than 200 Americans with healthcare-associated infections will die during their hospital stay."

Transmission from the hospital to the patient can occur in a number of ways, but experts believe that the most common culprits are equipment that the hospital has failed to adequately sterilize, health care workers who fail to properly and adequately wash their hands, and the overuse of antibiotics, making them unable to kill bacteria.

Bloodstream infections are a special threat to cancer patients who require a central line, but on that front there is some good news: another CDC report found that such infections are down 44 percent from 2008.

These findings have been reported in the most recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Source: Digital Journal

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