A new study shows that hospital infections kill about 48,000 Americans every year, and that is a conservative estimate, according to the study. The research, out of the Washington D.C. think tank, Resources for the Future, finds that these are not infections that the patients would have caught anyway. Often the family of the deceased doesn’t realize that it was the hospital-acquired infection that took their loved one, such as pneumonia, not the initial illness that brought them to the hospital in the first place. “It is a staggering number and one that does not have to be,” said lead researcher, Ramanan Laxminarayan PhD, and MPH.
Most of the infections enter the body through catheters and ventilators. Some of the infections come from a bacterium that has been around for a long time, but there are an increasing number of infections that are resistant to antibiotics and are known as “superbugs.” The researchers drew their data from 69 million patients in 40 states between 1998 and 2006.
The solution appears to be for hospitals to institute a team approach to fight infections as they enter the hospital and to prevent them from spreading. It is also up to the family of the patient to be aware of potential signs of hospital malpractice in Jacksonville and throughout Florida. Be sure to ask the hospital about its rate of bloodstream infections and what efforts the hospital is making to reduce infections.
You should look to at or below one infection per 1,000 catheter days. A safety checklist devised by Dr. Peter Pronovost is a good guide for health care workers to follow when inserting a central line catheter. Request clinicians wash their hands every time they enter your room. And be vigilant about the soonest time a catheter can be removed from your body since it presents a risk for infection.