CDC: More basic prevention efforts needed to prevent hospital infections and resulting illness and death

As reported here, "the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have updated their previous estimates of health care-associated infections through the two reports, one of which is published in the New England Journal of Medicine, NEJM and details 2011 hospital infection estimates from a survey of hospitals in 10 states." Extrapolating from the data reported in the NEJM, the CDC estimates that 1 in 25 U.S. hosptial patients will pick up an infection in the hospital and that, in 2011 alone, about 648,000 U.S. hospital patients contracted about 721,800 hospital-based infections, resulting in around 75,000 deaths. These data represent modest improvements over earlier data, but CDC director Tom Frieden says that many infections can be prevented: "Although there has been some progress, today and every day, more than 200 Americans with health care-associated infections will die during their hospital stay. The most advanced medical care won't work if clinicians don't prevent infections through basic things such as regular hand hygiene."

Read the NEJM article and and this report on the CDC study by Lenny Bernstein.