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Infections in US hospitals claim 400,000 lives annually

Saturday May 07, 2011 08:37:01 AM, IANS

New York: An estimated 400,000 people die every year due to infections in US hospitals and nursing homes, according to a new study.

Infections in nursing homes have become a leading cause of illness and death in the US, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health said in the study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

The study examined the deficiency citation records used in Medicare/Medicaid certification between 2000 and 2007. The data represented 96 percent of all US nursing home facilities, Xinhua reported.

Nearly one in seven nursing homes is cited for deficiencies in infection control practices each year, the findings showed.

There is a strong correlation between low staff levels at these nursing homes and the receipt of an infection control deficiency citation, the researchers noted.

"Our analysis may provide some clues as to the reason for the persistent infection control problems in nursing homes," the study authors said.

The high number of deficiency citations suggests there was a need for infection prevention programmes to protect the elderly, according to the study.

The researchers said that when faced with staff shortage, nurse aides, licensed practical nurses and registered nurses are likely to rush and may cut corners on infection control measures, such as proper hand washing.

A number of states have already enacted laws that apply to infection prevention practices in long-term care facilities, according to HealthDay News.

 

 

 

 

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