50k die a year from hospital infections

Posted on Feb 24, 2010
Nearly 50,000 people die a year from infections they contract while visiting a hospital. A recent study from the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy at Resources for the Future, a Washington, DC based think tank reveals that 48,000 patient deaths result from pneumonia or blood poisoning picked up during hospital visits.

The research was conducted using hospital discharge records from 69 million patients who visited United States hospitals between 1998 and 2006. The cost of the infections translated into 2.3 million extra patient days in 2006, a cost of more than 8 billion.

The study suggests that the costs of these preventable infections adds to the escalating cost of health insurance in the United States.

The deaths could be avoided by implementing better infection control. This includes more frequent hand washing, improved overall hygiene and better screening of patients when they first arrive at a hospital. 


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