Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Apparently Hospitals Suck, Too

Disturbing news today from Pennsylvania, where health officials today reported that more than 11,000 people caught some sort of infection in Pennsylvania hospitals in 2004 and nearly 1,800 people died. Don't believe it? Read it at MSNBC and USA Today.

The report was done by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, which determined that the resulting infections and deaths cost the state an extra $2 billion (that's billion, with a B) and required (ironically, in a sick sort of way, literally) an extra 205,000 days of hospitalization for the patients stricken by the infections.

The cause: "Usually such infections come from improper hygiene by health care workers - failure to wash hands properly or at all, a failure to use gloves, inadequate sanitizing of equipment and other mistakes," according to MSNBC's report. USA Today's story lists the most common infection sites: Urinary tract (6,139); bloodstream (1,932); pneumonia (1,335); SURGICAL SITE (1,317) and the ever-fun "multiple infections" (945).

Mulitply Pennsylvania's problem by 49 states and that $104 BILLION extra dollars and 10 MILLION extra days of billing people for hospitals stays.

And guess where many surgeries are performed? You got it. Hospitals.

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