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Hospital Infections Kill 48,000 Each Year

Study Shows Hospital-Acquired Infections Kill 3 Times as Many Americans as HIV

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Pronovost says that while hospitals may have good intentions, it's essential they keep track of their hospital infection rate. If a hospital can't tell you its infection rate, it's not doing enough.

"It's like making a New Year's resolution to diet -- it doesn't work unless you step on the scales throughout the year," he says.

Now that the scale of the problem is known, Laxminarayan says that the U.S. should mount a prevention effort on the same scale as its anti-AIDS effort.

"People need to speak out," he says. "Nobody can argue that patients going to the hospital should be at minimal risk. Many of these infections can be prevented, and there is no good reason not to do that."

The Laxminarayan study appears in the Feb. 22 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, as does an editorial by Pronovost. Pronovost's study appears in the Feb. 4 online edition of BMJ.

 

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