According to a new study published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, each year nearly 650,000 hospital patients get a serious infection during their stay in a hospital. About 75,000 of those patients die of that hospital-acquired infection. That about 200 people a day who die–not from their original illness, but from an infection at the hospital.
What’s most troubling is that a large number of the infections came from a preventable source–doctors and nurses who didn’t wash their hands between patients.
“The most advanced medical care won’t work if clinicians don’t prevent infections through basic things such as regular hand hygiene.” [CDC Director Tom Frieden, quoted in an article on msn.com]
Until hand-washing is a regular, mandatory part of patient care, it’s up to patients and their families to remind doctors and nurses to wash their hands every time they enter a patients’ room. It could be a matter of life or death.