Most of us believe that hospitals have safe, sterile environments where ailing individuals can recover quickly. However, a new Consumer Reports investigation is suggesting something absolutely different. The investigation that gathered facts on hospital-acquired infections is saying that hospitals are not always safe and sterile.
This is the first time ever that Consumer Reports has expanded the hospital rating presented by it. This time, it includes information on a couple of common deadly infections. They are: C. diff (clostridium difficile) and MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus).
According to statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, every year around 648,000 people in the United States get infected during hospital stays. For around 75,000 of those patients, the infections turn fatal. This number is more than two times of the number of people dying per year due to car crashes.
The most recent hospital ratings can be found in the report titles “How Your Hospital Can Make You Sick”. You can read the entire report by visiting the official website of Consumer Reports at ConsumerReports.org. This report is the second one in a three-segment investigative series. The investigation focuses on antibiotic crisis in America.
The first article of the series talked about the way misuse and overuse of antibiotics is influencing rise of superbugs. The next article, which will be the final one of the series, will be examining the role played by antibiotics in the country’s meat supply.
According to Doris Peter, the director of the Health Rating Center of Consumer Reports, high rates of C. diff and MRSA are indicators of the fact that the hospital in question is not pursuing the best practices in prescribing antibiotics and preventing infections.
Peter feels that the data has shown that keeping infection rates low is not something impossible. He believes that in some cases avoiding infections altogether is also possible.
Every year, over 8,000 people die in the US after being infected by MRSA. The number of people developing the infection every year, on the other hand, is almost 60,000.
The frequency of C. diff infection is even higher. Each year witnesses around 290,000 Americans developing C. diff infection, either in hospitals or in other health care facilities. A minimum of 27,000 of those infected individuals die every year. All these numbers have been provided by the CDC.