More articles about
National disease service
1st October, 2004
Antibacteria-resistant superbugs are turning hospitals into killersIn the 18 months from January 2003 to June 2004, some 100 people died from the clostridium difficile superbug at Sherbrooke Hospital in Quebec. In the UK almost 10 per cent of patients pick up a hospital infection, including MRSA, and at least 5,000 people die as a result each year. Between 8,000 and 12,000 Canadian patients die because of hospital-acquired blood infections, infected surgical wounds and antibiotic-resistant organisms every year. And 103,000 Americans died from hospital-acquired infections in 2000. What makes the hospital environment such a major killer?
Some medical errors will always occur, but last September the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC) reported the findings of a Canadian survey that claimed that half of all hospital-acquired infections are preventable. The problem is, hospital infection-control procedures are inadequate. The survey quoted in the AJIC found that less than 25 per cent of Canadian hospitals had adequate measures in place to properly prevent the spread of infection, and that nearly half of all hospitals in Canada fell short of the minimum recommendations for the number of infection-control staff.
Similarly, the UK’s National Patient Safety Agency...
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