Hospital Infections 8th Leading Cause of Death

Representing Orlando, Tampa, Miami and Nearby Areas of Florida

Hospital acquired infections are the 8th leading cause of death in the U.S. Approximately 2 million people acquire infections in hospitals each year. One of every 20 people admitted to hospitals get infections, delaying their recovery, requiring lengthy intravenous antibiotic treatment, or worse. About 90,000 of them a year die.

There is virtually no debate about what it takes to prevent infections in hospitals. Patients should be given antibiotics before surgery as a prophylactic measure to prevent infections after operations. Catheters should not be overused for the sake of convenience of the nursing staff. And perhaps most importantly, hospital staff must remember that these bacteria are mostly spread by touch. Caregivers MUST wash their hands before any hands on care that might spread infection. Nurses and doctors should not touch doorknobs, cabinets, curtains, blood pressure cuffs, or other unsanitary surfaces once they have scrubbed or gloved. Unfortunately, research suggests that health care workers fails to wash their hands as recommended more than half the time. Handwashing was identified as a critical method of preventing infection 160 years ago, too often hospital staff are less than diligent in obeying this cardinal rule. Too many staff become complacent and rely on the effectiveness of antibiotics rather than following these gold standard methods of preventing infection.