Thousands in U.S. Die Each Year from Hospital Acquired Infections

Medical--photo-resized.jpgThe number of hospital-acquired infections in the United States appears to have dropped in recent years. Unfortunately, there remain thousands of people who die from infections they obtained during a hospital stay each year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that hospital acquired infections declined from 2008 to 2013. But the organization also said that one out 25 patients in the United States receives an infection during a hospital stay.

Types of Hospital Acquired Infections

A patient suffers a hospital acquired infection while receiving treatment for another condition. They’re generally caused by bacteria, fungi, and viruses, and usually can be linked back to mistakes made by healthcare workers or improper or ineffective hospital procedures.

The most common types of hospital acquired infections are:

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Surgical site infections
  • Bloodstream infections
  • Pneumonia

The study referred to by the CDC included more than 14,500 health care facilities located in all 50 U.S. states. It found a drop nationally in several types of infections:

  • Central-line bloodstream infections decreased 46 percent from 2008 to 2013. These happen when a tube injected in a patient’s vein transmits germs.
  • Surgical site infections dropped 19 percent during the same timeframe.
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream infections fell 6 percent from 2011 to 2013

75,000 People Die from Hospital Infections

While an encouraging trend, the CDC said 75,000 people died from hospital acquired infections in 2011. The organization noted that physicians and hospitals can take steps to further reduce hospital acquired infections.

When health care providers make serious mistakes, they should be held accountable. If you suspect a loved one died while in the hospital due to an error in care, you may want to consult an attorney who is experienced in matters of medical malpractice.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.