Hospital Infections

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Story Updated: Mar 28, 2014

About 1 in every 25 hospital patients end up saddled with an infection that they catch while hospitalized… a new survey reveals.

The finding stems from a 2011 poll of more than 11,000 patients, in 183 hospitals, across 10 different states.

The results… published in the New England Journal of Medicine… suggest that in 2011 an estimated 648,000 Americans developed an infection during a hospital stay.

The 2 most frequent hospital infections were pneumonia and point of surgery infections. Each accounted for nearly 22% of all cases.

Gastrointestinal infections were the third most common… involving more than 17% of cases…

The bacteria known as " " was pegged as the #1 infectious agent.

Some of the risk was sourced back to infections associated with the use of healthcare devices… such as catheters and ventilators. Such devices accounted for more than a quarter of all in-hospital infections.

Given the scale of the problem, the study team suggested that more attention be paid to infection surveillance… alongside efforts to reduce infection risk in the first place.

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