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One-in-five Ohio hospitals suffer from high infection rates

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.

Medical malpractice claims

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.

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