Hospital Infections Continue at Teaching Hospitals

By Ken Buben, President,

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.

Teaching Hospitals

Teaching Hospitals Still Have Risks for Infections

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.

About hightechnologyscrubs

I own and operate an online store that specializes in nursing scrubs, nursing uniforms, lab coats and clogs. The website includes New Balance, Gelscrubs, Jockey, Cherokee, Trend, White Swan, and the product line I am most proud of is a protecting fluid repelling scrub line from Vestex.
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2 Responses to Hospital Infections Continue at Teaching Hospitals

  1. Tom says:

    It has been a long established practice to wash hands as a cornerstone for preventing cross contamination. The hands are known to be a carrier of disease from patient to patient. The recent use of disposable gloves is also a way to prevent cross contamination by caregiver hands.

    Have you ever considered that the most commonly used medical device also is a source for cross contamination from patient to patient. I am referring to the blood pressure cuff. The cuffs can not be “ washed “ like hands are from patient to patient use. During flu outbreaks we are taught to cough into the bend of the elbow area to prevent spraying contamination into the air. When sick patients go to health professionals for treatment , where is the blood pressure cuff placed? In the same area we teach people to sneeze. Now that the cuff has the flu germs it is common sense that it is spread from patient to patient.

    ALL the research on blood pressure cuffs say that they are always contaminated and a source for cross contamination for MRSA,VRE, c-Diff and any disease that can be spread by contact.

    We have a solution. Our cover for the cuff is called Cuff-Guard. It is easy to apply and remove, is low in cost and acts like gloves for hands to prevent cross contamination. Our web is and we implore you to consider the BP cuff as a factor in nosocomial infections.

    I would like to offer you free samples to evaluate ! We know our covers are the lowest cost protection for your cuffs.

    1. Beard M A, McIntyre A, Roundtree P M. Sphygmomanometers as a reservoir of pathogenic bacteria. The Medical Journal of Australia. 1969; 2:758-60

    2. Taber S. Pathogen Transmission from Blood Pressure Cuffs.

    3. Walker N, Gupta R, Cheesbrough J. Blood pressure cuffs: friend or foe? Journal of Hospital Infection 2006; 63:167-169.

    4. Myers M G. Longitudinal Evaluation of Neonatal Nosocomial Infections: Association of Infection With a Blood Pressure Cuff. Pediatrics. 1978; 61:42-45.

    5. Sternlicht A L, Poznak A V. Significant bacterial colonization occurs on the surface of non-disposable sphygmomanometer cuffs and re-used disposable cuffs. Anesth Analg 1990; 70:S391

    6. Base-Smith V. Nondisposable sphygmomanometer cuffs harbor frequent bacterial colonization and significant contamination by organic and inorganic matter. AANA J. 1996; 64:141-5.

    7. Manian F A, Meyer L, Jenne J. Clostridium difficile contamination of blood pressure cuffs; a call for a closer look at gloving practices in the era of universal precautions. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 1996; 17:180-2.

    8. Webb S R. Single-use disposable barrier reduces microbial contamination on BP cuffs. Dialysis & transplantation. 2002; 31:337-341.

    9. de Gialluly C, Morange V, de Gialluly E, Loulergue J, van der Mee N, Quentin R. Blood pressure cuff as a potential vector of pathogenic microorganisms: a prospective study in a teaching hospital. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2006; 27:940-3.

    10. McCaughey B. To Catch a Deadly Germ. New York Times. 14 November 2006.

    11. Mah et al. Social Marketing Analysis of 2 Years of Hand Hygiene Promotion. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 2008; 29:262-270.


    Tom Bowen
    800 726 8377

    • Thanks for the additional information on your cuff guard.

      You may go even further to include the fact that the doctor’s stethoscope is in his contaminated pocket or wrapped around his neck and touching his contaminated tie. As you know the British have implemented a law that a doctor can no longer wear a tie simply because there is not a person on the face of this earth that cleanses or disinfects a simple thing like a a tie every day. The state of New York is trying to implement this exact same law.

      The problem that I see out in the field is healthcare providers care more about the price then their patients or their own health. I am sure that in many hospitals and clinics and even nursing homes don’t realize the effects of cross contamination from clothes and/or scrubs. As a matter of fact the CDC has provided information to the medical community that 100,000 people die each year from contaminated clothing in hospitals and clinics.

      As you know from reading our blog that the technology exists to perhaps save thousands of people every year from infectious diseases and your cuff guard is a start. As you probably are aware of my company represents even one step further which is fluid repelling and infectious disease killing scrubs and lab coats.

      I would love to work with you to with helping hospitals, clinics, doctors offices, nursing homes, etc, in order to stop the spread of infectious viruses and infections.

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