Despite efforts to control and reduce rates of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), too many people in the United States continue to suffer preventable infectious injury each year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one out of 25 patients treated in American hospitals suffer a preventable infection during a hospital stay. HAIs occur across the nation. In Indiana, a 2012 report on HAIs included several noteworthy statistics:
- Indiana hospitals reported 41 percent fewer central line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) than estimated, based on national aggregate figures.
- Healthcare facilities reported 12 percent more catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) than forecast.
- In 2012, Indiana hospitals reported 39 percent fewer surgical site infections (SSI) related to abdominal hysterectomies.
At present, the CDC cites figures that include:
- There were more than 700,000 HAIs reported in 2011.
- Each day, more than 200 people in the United States die of a HAI. About 75,000 people died of HAIs in 2011.
- Common HAIs include pneumonia, SSIs, gastro-intestinal infections, and urinary tract and bloodstream infections.
Making good decisions about medical caregivers is only part of the personal battle against HAIs. When you have an outpatient procedure or an in-hospital stay, it is crucial you understand the procedure, what the procedure entails and how you can best prepare yourself for a successful recovery.
Talk to your doctor about how to avoid HAIs in the facility, know the signs of infection, and ask nurses and technicians who touch you to wash their hands first.
No one expects injury when seeking healthcare in Indiana or elsewhere. If you are injured through a medical mistake or if you contract a HAI, speak with a skilled medical malpractice attorney in Merrillville.