Infections plague U.S. hospitals
January 23, 2009
FORT WAYNE, IN — U.S. hospitals desperately need to improve cleanliness measures to curb the spread of infectious diseases like MRSA, VRE and C. diff, according to The Journal Gazette.
About 103,000 people die from hospital-acquired infections annually in the U.S., more than from AIDS, breast cancer and auto accidents combined, the story stated.
Betsy McCaughey, chairwoman and founder of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths, said: "With every breakthrough that boosts infection-prevention capabilities, hospitals are increasingly likely to be held legally liable when patients contract infections on site."
A 2007 study concluded that 65 percent of doctors and other medical professionals admitted they had not washed their lab coat in at least a week, even though their uniforms routinely pick up bacteria when they interact with and lean over patients, the story noted.
The single most important step in preventing hospital infections is also the simplest: Cleaning; a hospital''s cleaning staff are the "Navy SEALs of infection prevention," the story added.
According to McCaughey, patients should regularly wash their hands and should not be afraid to ask medical staff to do the same.
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