Two Studies Show Hospitals Struggling to Prevent Infections in Patients
A new report by Kaiser Health News has found that one out of every five
hospitals in Ohio suffer from infection rates higher than the benchmark
set by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), according to the Enquirer.
Many of the infections occur during or after surgery, and analysts say
that infections are becoming one of the biggest health and safety issues
that hospitals across the U.S. are currently struggling with.
High Infection Rates
The Kaiser report found that one-fifth of Ohio hospitals exceeded the infection
rate that is set by the CDC as acceptable. While Ebola has gained many
of the headlines in recent months, the two most common infections are
actually C. diff and MRSA, along with infections that occur during or
after hysterectomies and colon surgeries.
The problem has become so acute that the CDC now estimates that one in
25 patients at U.S. hospitals will get an infection during their hospital
stay. Additionally, hospital infections lead to about 75,000 deaths per
year, which exceeds the combined number of deaths from gun shots and car
accidents. The report also found that a hospital’s reputation has
little bearing on its infection rate, with some of the most respected
hospitals in the country receiving poor grades for preventing infections.
More Troubling Data
In addition to the Kaiser study, Consumer Reports also released their own
ranking of hospital infections and found similarly disturbing news. Over
a third of U.S. hospitals that were ranked in the study received the two
lowest grades for infection prevention measures. Additionally, only 13
percent of hospitals were awarded a top grade for infection rates.
Experts say that bringing down the infection rates would not be difficult
and would mostly only require medical staff to follow guidelines that
are already in place, such as washing hands and removing catheters within
a timely manner. They also say that patients should not be shy about insisting
that hospital staff take measures to reduce the risk of infection, like
cleaning their hands and asking for how long a catheter or drainage tube
has to be left in.
Of course, patients should not have to be the ones telling hospital staff
to follow basic health and safety guidelines. Hospitals should always
undertake to make sure that patients are kept safe from harm, including
from dangerous infections.
Unfortunately, all too often hospitals fail to deliver the care and treatment
that patients deserve and expect. Anybody who has suffered because of
potential hospital negligence should
contact a medical malpractice attorney today. An experienced attorney can provide the advice clients need to understand
their rights and, if necessary, understand what action can be taken to
hold any negligent party accountable.