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Healthcare Associated Infections Cost $10 Billion a Year

Wednesday, September 4, 2013   (0 Comments)
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One in 20 Hospital Patients Gets Infected

 A U.S. News and World Report health story by Brenda Goodman reports that healthcare associated infections strike 440,000 patients every year in the US, and cost nearly $10 billion to treat. A new study by Harvard researcher and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine shows one of every 20 patients admitted to a hospital will pick up an infection.  

Researchers examined the five most common types of infections, and calculated an average cost for each. They did not study all types of infection.

 The five most common are:

Surgical site infections, the most common type, which happen to one out of every 50 patients, cost an average of $21,000 each to treat.

Central line associated blood stream infections cost an average of $45,000 each to treat.

Pneumonia infections that strike patients on ventilators to breathe, cost $40,000 per case.

C Difficile infections, which happen to four patients in 1,000, cost $11,000 to treat.

Urinary tract infections associated with use of catheters, cost $900 each.  

Dr. Trish Perl, professor of medicine and pathology at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore, recently completed a study of surgical site infections at four hospitals in the Johns Hopkins Health Systems and concluded is the hospitals could eliminate surgical site infections tied to procedures studied, the hospitals would increase revenue by more than $2 billion a year. She was not involved in the current study.




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