When someone is admitted to a New York hospital with a serious illness and/or injury, they are often in an extremely vulnerable state emotionally and physically. That is why many patients put a great deal of trust into their physicians and medical providers to ensure that they are cared for properly. But with the findings of a new study pointing to the extent and severity of infections developed in the hospital setting, some medical professionals are suggesting that patients put less trust in their physicians to avoid potentially fatal medical mistakes.
When discussing how well hospitals around the country address issues concerning infection prevention and patient care, one physician noted that patients should look at the rate of bloodstream infections spread in the ICU. By comparing local hospitals for factors like infection rates prior to being admitted, individuals can help to ensure that they are not victims to secondary infections. Beyond that, the medical expert conceded that nurses and physicians can need to be reminded about policies regarding sanitation, pharmacy errors and infection prevention.
Such comments came in response to the results of a study that surveyed over 11,000 patients in 183 hospitals during a five-month period in 2011. The study, which was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that approximately four percent of patients developed an infection while admitted in the hospital that year. And while bloodstream and urinary tract infections were common, approximately 22 percent of the total number of infections acquired were related to pneumonia and surgery sites.
The findings of the study point to the fact that infection rate statistics have changed in recent years. For instance, the CDC estimates that antibiotic-resistant infections are on the rise, while some bloodstream infections have dropped sharply.
Source: CNN, “1 in 25 patients gets infection in hospital,” William Hudson, March 26, 2014