By Ken Buben, President, FancyScrubs.com
Today we learn that teaching hospitals in the United States still do not protect well against infections especially the CLABSI -central-line associated bloodstream infections according to Consumer Reports. The data came either from one of the 18 states that publicly report hospital-infection rates, or from The Leapfrog Group a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., that focuses on improving health care in hospitals.
The report claims they showed no improvement from last year’s data. For a complete list you may click here.
Consumer Reports Health has also updated its hospital Ratings to now include information on surgical site infections (SSI) for 577 hospitals. After bloodstream infections, SSIs are the second most common hospital-acquired infection, accounting for about one sixth (17%) of all hospital-acquired infections. Of the hospitals rated on this criterion, 11% received CRH’s highest mark for controlling surgical site infections and 8% received the worst Rating.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee have released updated guidelines this month for the prevention of intravascular catheter-related bloodstream infections.
The new guidelines, which replace the recommendations published in 2002, place a heavy emphasis on the education and training of health care personnel, using chlorhexidine scrubs for skin antisepsis, ensuring a maximal sterile barrier for catheter insertions and avoiding the routine replacement of central venous catheters as an infection prevention strategy.
Central line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs), the most common type of nosocomial bloodstream infection, carry an estimated mortality rate of 12% to 15%. The treatment of these infections costs U.S. hospitals an estimated $29,000 per patient and $2.3 billion annually. These types of bloodstream infections, however, are considered highly preventable when proper precautions are taken.
Hospitals must take all precautions to avoid patients from incurring infections while trying to become well during a hospital stay. Each year hospital infections kill more than all breast cancer, aids and auto accident deaths combined. We hope next year’s study will show some improvement in this area.