Feds Confirm Reduction in Blood Stream Infections

005.JPGThe Indiana medical malpractice lawyers at our firm have frequently blogged about the risks of central line-associated bloodstream infections, and their growing number in our hospitals. Recently, many hospitals around the country have reported great progress in reducing the number of such infections that occur in their facilities. Many hospitals that have been able to reduce their hospital-acquired infection rates have relied on simple checklists for medical professionals in intensive and critical care units.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now confirming that there has been a reduction in such infection rates. According to the report, there has been a 32% reduction in the number of such central line-associated bloodstream infections in 2010, compared to numbers from 2006 and 2008. Central line-associated bloodstream infections are introduced through lines that are used to deliver food, nutrients, medications and fluids to patients in intensive care units.

Consumer Reports has also reported that there has been a reduction in these infections across the country. According to Consumer Reports, it focused on 1400 hospitals from the Hospital Ratings update by the agency in April. It found that the rate of infections between 2006 and 2008 dropped about 40%, compared to the national benchmark.

According to a study by Consumer Reports, last year, approximately 15 % of all hospital infections were central line-associated bloodstream infections. However, these infections were responsible for approximately 30% of hospital fatalities that occurred every year. Every year, approximately 99,000 people die from hospital-acquired infections in the United States.

Even patients who survive these deadly infections can be left with debilitating side effects that can last for years. These side effects may require patients to remain on medication for years after, or for the rest of their lives.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010, there were a total of 13,812 bloodstream infections reported from around the country. Based on the data between 2006 and 2008, the CDC had expected 20,185 infections. The lowest standardized infection ratio was found in critical care units, where the ratio was .654. In neonatal intensive care units, the ratio was.695.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also reported reductions in other types of infections, including catheter-associated urinary tract infections. In 2010, there were 9,995 catheter-associated urinary tract infections. This was in contrast to the 10,657 UTIs expected by the CDC. UTIs were more frequent in critical care units, compared to wards.

According to the CDC, there was also a reduction in surgical site infections. In 2010, there were 4,737 surgical site infections, while the CDC actually expected a number of 5,170 infections. That was a reduction of 8%.

The Indiana medical malpractice attorneys at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson Kennedy represent persons injured due to medical negligence across Indiana.