Hospital Infections Are a Serious Threat to Patient Safety
Nosocomial infections, also known as hospital- acquired infections, occur at alarming rates causing millions of patients to become sick and, in many instances, die. Not to mention that treatment of patients who get a hospital born infection increase the costs of medical care exponentially. MRSA, or Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus has been of particular significance because of its high virulence and catastrophic patient outcomes. While hospitals say they are trying to improve infection rates a lot remains to be done. Patients should be able to demand a clean, safe non-infectious stay at a hospital.
The Baltimore Sun reported that Norovirus, a pathogen responsible for food poisoning causes, nearly 20% of all infection outbreaks in hospitals and 65% of hospital ward closures. This information was published in the American Journal of Infection Control and involved 822 hospitals over calendar years 2008 and 2009.
According to the Study of the 822 hospitals involved in the Study there were 386 infectious outbreaks. The Study found that there are four common pathogens which caused the outbreaks. Norovirus 18.2 percent, Staphylococcus aureus 17.5 percent Acinetobacter spp 13.7 percent and Clostridium difficile 10.3 percent.
Many of these outbreaks would have been and could have been prevented with proper safety measures in place. Patients must be aware that when they enter hospitals or other medical facilities it is dangerous from an infectious disease standpoint. Despite the clean looking appearance and safety protocols that exist the infectious outbreaks happen all too frequently causing millions of dollars in increased health care spending and tremendous human losses as some patients succumb to these virulent bugs.