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Personal Injury Law: New York Injury Talk Blog
HOSPITAL-ACQUIRED INFECTIONS KILL 270 PEOPLE A DAY
According to a recent article, published in the New York Times, and in response to widely held public concerns about preventable and deadly hospital-acquired infections, The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, began publishing statistics on infections and deaths at its 11 hospitals on September 7th of this year. The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, the nation?s largest public health system, treats 1.3 million patients a year according to the Corporation?s website.
The Times reported that the federal Centers for Disease Control estimated that in any given year 1.7 million patients will get a hospital-acquired infection during their hospital stay. Out of those 1.7 million, 99,000 people, or about 270 per day, will die.
A New York medical malpractice law, requiring hospitals to report specific infections to the State Health Department will result in the State Department issuing hospital report cards in 2009. While mandated infection reporting is only required in a few states. New Jersey?s legislature has passed a bill requiring hospitals to report infections, and that bill is now before the Governor. USA Today reported, that many hospitals have ?balked? at requests to provide statistics on hospital-acquired infections.
Simple, and easily implemented steps, like physician and staff members washing their hands between patients, would lessen the opportunity for a hospital acquired infection. But, according to Clean Your Hands? website, a study reported in Emerging Infectious Diseases in April of this year, compliance with hand-washing is poor.
About.com had several suggestions on how patients can empower themselves when hospitalized. As a patient, you can:
? Insist that anyone who touches you washes and sanitizes their hands. That includes medical personnel, dinner tray delivery people, visitors, even family members. And, according to about.com, just wearing gloves isn't good enough. Gloves may protect the wearer, but not the patient because the infection-causing pathogen may be present on the outside of the gloves.
? Insist that anything you touch is clean. That includes the telephone; the TV remote; the doctor?s stethoscope; bandages and dressing; and, catheters
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