Many hospitals in the US expose patients to deadly central-line bloodstream infections in spite of the availability of a simple life-saving checklist to prevent hospital-acquired infections, a new study by Consumer Reports said.
Bloodstream infections are causing at least 30% of the estimated 99,000 annual hospital infection-related deaths in the US and add on average $42,000 to hospital bills, the new report has found.
Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center director John Santa said consumers have been in the dark for far too long, with no easy way to find out how well their hospitals perform when it comes to these often-deadly infections.
The procedures needed to eliminate ICU infections are simple, low-tech and inexpensive, requiring a change of mindset and culture, the report said.
The study was conducted on data for ICUs in 926 hospitals, finding tremendous variations within the same cities and even within the same healthcare systems.