Don’t Want To Get Sick? Don’t Go Here….(Hint, it’s the last place you’d guess)
People living in Louisville, Kentucky will likely remember the hundred lawsuits filed against Jewish Hospital alleging people contracted MRSA due to unsanitary conditions. And you’ll probably recall that the well-known Louisville medical malpractice lawyers sending up dismissing all of those suits and that Jewish counter-sued the lawyers for malicious prosecution. Ultimately, Jewish was unable to prove the lawyers did anything wrong and Jewish dismissed the suit against the two lawyers.
Despite the inability of those lawyers to successfully pursue those lawsuits against Jewish, hosptial acquired illnesses are a serious problem. Estimates are hospital-acquired illnesses cost the United States hundreds of thousands of dollars each year according to a New York Daily News article.
A study reported by Reuters found that roughly 48,000 patients die each year from pneumonia or blood poisoning contracted during hospital stays. According to the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy at Resources for the Future in Washington, D.C., certain hospital-acquired illnesses added up to 2.3 million extra days patients spent in hospitals costing $8.1 billion in 2006 alone.
Ramanan Laxminarayan of Resources for the Future believes many of these cases “could have been avoided with better infection control in hospitals.” Laxminarayan and his colleagues wrote to the Archives of Internal Medicine that the blood infection sepsis killed a whole one-fifth of patients infected after surgery. Their research shows that between 1998 and 2006, patients who contracted sepsis after surgeries stayed an average of 11 days longer at a cost of around $32,900 per patient. Even more draining were pneumonia patients who stayed an additional two weeks longer costing $46,400 per patient, 11 percent of whom died.
Anup Malani of the University of Chicago who worked on the study stated the tragedy of these deaths, “In some cases, relatively healthy people check into the hospital for routine surgery. They develop sepsis because of a lapse in infection control and they can die.” Researchers estimate around 1.7 million healthcare-associated infections are diagnosted each year and urge the importance of handwashing, hygiene and screening patients to prevent infection.
One more reason not to get sick….