Hospital-related infections are the US’s sixth leading cause of death

13th of January 2012
Hospital-related infections are the US’s sixth leading cause of death

Around 100,000 people in the US die of hospital-related infections each year - making HCAIs the nation's sixth biggest killer.

The US government has now made it mandatory for hospitals to reveal exact figures of hospital-acquired infections if they want continued government funding for medical care.

Latest figures have revealed that even patients attending hospital for minor surgeries can fall victim to hospital-acquired infections. Around two million cases of nosocomial infections are reported every year, of which around 100,000 people never recover.

Using faulty catheters and inadequately sterilised tracheostomy tubes are among the major causes of hospital-related infections. Approximately 250,000 infections are acquired from catheters in the US every year, of which 31,000 lead to death.

A new US reporting system now makes it compulsory to report all cases of nosocomial infections and the number of deaths that result. Surgery records will from now on need to be compulsorily updated and reported until the case is closed.

Meanwhile, hospitals are being provided with a list of steps they can take to prevent hospital-acquired infections from occurring. These include: keeping the surgery ward absolutely sterile; fumigating the operating theatre after each surgery; autoclaving or sterilising all equipment after each procedure, and training hospital staff in hygiene maintenance during and after surgery.




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