About 103,000 deaths were linked to hospital infections in 2000 
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 About 103,000 deaths were linked to hospital infections in 2000

JULY 21, 19:33 ET
Report: CDC Off on Infection Deaths

CHICAGO (AP) About 103,000 deaths were linked to hospital infections in
2000 a figure 14 percent higher than government estimates and nearly 75

percent of the deaths were preventable, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year calculated
90,000 deaths in 2000 were linked to hospital infections, the fourth leading
cause of death in the United States behind heart disease, cancer and strokes.

Many of the deaths were caused by unsanitary facilities, germ-laden
instruments and unwashed hands, the newspaper said in early Sunday editions
distributed Saturday.

According to the report, infection rates are soaring nationally, exacerbated
by hospital cutbacks and carelessness by doctors and nurses, and serious
violations of infection-control standards have been found in the majority of
hospitals.

Since 1995, more than 75 percent of all hospitals have been cited for serious
cleanliness and sanitation violations.

Hospitals are not required to disclose infection rates, and most do not.
Doctors are not required to tell patients about risk or exposure to hospital
germs.

To document the rising rate of infection-related deaths, the newspaper
analyzed records from 75 federal and state agencies, as well as internal
hospital files, patient databases and court cases around the country.

CDC officials said they believe most hospital infections are preventable, but
the agency has not arrived at a precise number.

The American Hospital Association said the last decade of unprecedented
cost-cutting and financial instability has impacted all areas of hospital
care.

``It's had an effect on infection control and it's had an effect on our
ability to recruit and retain workers. It's had an effect on our ability to
invest in new and updated equipment as much as we would like to,'' said Rick
Wade, spokesman for the AHA.

``It's also a question in front of society. How much do you want to invest in
high-quality, safe medical care?''

Among recent incidents in which hospital-linked infections were cited, the
newspaper noted a 1998 case in which eight children died at a Chicago
pediatric medical center; a 1997 Detroit case in which four babies died in
1997; and an infection at a West Palm Beach, Fla., hospital where 13 people
cardiac patients died in the late 1990s.

** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material
is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest
in receiving the included information for research and educational
purposes. **



Sat, 08 Jan 2005 08:39:36 GMT
 
 [ 1 post ] 

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