Infections killed 48,000 patients and added $8.1 billion to heath care costs in 2006 according to a study published today in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The study links about half of all infection deaths directly to infections acquired in the hospital in the course of care.
Researchers analyzed 69 million discharge records from hospitals in 40 states between 1998 and 2006. The length of stay and mortality rates for the infections didnÛªt change substantially over time.
Information for you – hospitals have records of their infection rates. Some hospitals, with good statistics, publish those rates. Others don’t. Concerned about coming out of a hospital sicker than you went in? Then ask pointedly about infection rates for your hospital and the infection control procedures they have in place.