Myhealthnewsdaily.com estimates that nearly two million patients contract healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in the U.S. every year. Urinary tract infections, pneumonia, bloodstream infections and infections from surgery are among the major preventable illnesses patients contract. Some infections even lead to death. In fact, about 100,000 people die each year from HAIs, making HAIs one of the top ten causes of death in the United States.
Reducing Health-Care-Associated Infections
Healthcare experts have kicked-off a campaign aimed at reducing the incidences of HAIs. The initiative is one of six the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says is winnable. AIDS, auto related injuries, teen pregnancy, smoking and obesity are the other five battles the CDC aims to tame.
The CDC has set a stringent benchmark. Over the next five years, they want to see a 50 percent reduction in bloodstream infections. Hospitals in 40 states, including Connecticut, have joined in and agreed to adopt new measures and protocols. Results already show an 18 percent reduction in bloodstream infections so far this year.
Healthcare officials are also calling on hospital personnel to help win the infection battle by following a few simple steps including:
- Washing hands before and after every procedure
- Properly inserting catheters and using disinfectants, usually with a swab, before inserting and after removing a catheter
Additionally, officials are requesting hospitals improve how infections are reported and handled.
The CDC hopes that other healthcare facilities such as ambulatory care centers and outpatient clinics, surgical centers, rehabilitation centers, dialysis clinics, and off-site health clinics, jump on board to win the fight against HAIs.