Numbers to conjure with. . .

My blog’s subtitle says I write about love, food, sex and death. This one’s about death.

One million, seven hundred thousand Americans become infected every year in a hospital (note the word “become”; they weren’t infected when they entered), and 99,000 of them die. Ninety-nine thousand! If that many Americans died in wars or natural disasters, the headlines would be HUGE AND BLACK.

Remember reading about hospitals in the middle ages, places no one willingly entered because you came out dead? That’s how it’s starting to feel.

Here in California where 200,000 a year get a hospital-caused infection and 12,000 die, we are trying to pass a rule: hospitals must publicly report their monthly infection rates. Give us a choice and a fighting chance.  Guess who’s against it? The Hospital Association.

5 responses »

  1. Judy Stanigar

    Not only did they die, but they left their loved ones with a huge bill for that service. The day my mom died after being 24 hrs in the E.R we got a bill of $15,000 – and that was 25 yrs ago. Imagine what that would be today!

    Reply
  2. That’s horrible. I’m hoping we get the see the infection ratings–if not monthly, at least quarterly.

    Reply
  3. JENNIFER CIZEK

    THAT IS ASTOUNDING, WHAT IS THE MAJOR CAUSE OR CULPRIT FOR THIS.? IS IT HOPITAL STAFF NOT WASHING THEIR HANDS?
    IF WE GET TO SEE DOCTORS’ SURGICAL RECORDS AND HOSPITAL RATINGS WHEN MAKING A DECISION IN CHOOSING, I AGREE THAT INFECTION RATES SHOULD BE INCLUDED.

    Reply
    • There is a process, a number of steps doctors and nurses are asked to follow, that cuts down on infection rates. Some hospitals follow this, some don’t. The huge increase in infections is partially caused by our misuse of antibiotics, in meat-animals and humans.

      Reply
  4. What another bit of data to clutter up the desk of some beauracrat? We already have so much information that it is difficult to even make an appointment with the doctors. I look forward to the system swallowing itself so we can all turn to what our mothers told us to begin with. Eat your veggies, wash you hands, brush your teeth, get exercise, take out the garbage. Drink tea with honey, a shot of whisky, take an aspirin and sweat in bed and go to school the next day!

    Reply

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