According to the 2016 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report on healthcare-associated infections in U.S. hospitals, about one in every 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection. These include bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, surgical site infections, hospital-onset C. difficile infections and hospital-onset MRSA bacterial infections.
Hospital infections are the 8th leading cause of death in the U.S., with approximately 75,000 deaths per year occurring among 722,000 healthcare-associated infection (HAI) patients, according to the CDC. Of those 722,000 HAI patients, approximately 60% contract a C. difficile infection, primarily from poor hand hygiene by medical personnel. In fact, a 2014 University of Iowa study found that less than one-third of healthcare workers in intensive care units always wash their hands.
The CDC data comes from acute care hospitals only. It does not measure infection rates among surgical centers or other freestanding outpatient surgical facilities that account for more than half of all surgeries performed in the U.S. Although the latest data shows an overall decrease in the incidence of HAIs in U.S. hospitals, it does not account for surgeries done outside hospitals.
It is estimated that 60% of surgeries are done in specialty, out-patient facilities, such as Orthopedic or neurosurgical outpatient surgical facilities. Thus the patient undergoes surgery in a sterile environment and is removed from the facility the same day. The faster the removal from the facility, the less likelihood there is of infection and death. The hospitals seemed to be recognizing this and instead of improving hygiene, they are simply moving patients out of the hospitals faster.
The attorneys of Roberts & Roberts have the skill, experience and resources to fully investigate any serious accident or death. If you have a question about an accident involving a serious injury or fatality, please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation.