Troubling trend for hospitals: Infection rates increasing at hospitals!

The nation's hospitals are failing to protect patients from potentially fatal infections despite years of prevention campaigns, according to the Health and Human Service's department.

Of the five major types of serious hospital-related infections, rates of illnesses increased for three, one showed no change and one showed a decline. The Health and Human Service department's report to Congress found "very little progress" on eliminating hospital acquired infections.

The abysmal statistics on hospital infections, reported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, was a disappointment.  It has been more than ten years since the Institute for Medicine reported that as many as 98,000 people a year die from medical errors, and preventable infections--along with medication mistakes--are a significant part of the problem.

According to the government report: rates of bloodstream infections following surgery increased by 8%; urinary infections from the use of a catheter following surgery increased by 3.6%; the overall incidence for a series of common infections due to medical care rose by 1.6%; there was no change in the number of bloodstream infections due to central venous catheters--tubes placed in the neck, chest or groin to administer medications, drain fluids or collect blood samples. However, rates of pneumonia following surgery dropped by 12%, the lone bright spot of the study.
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