Combatting Infections in Medical Facilities

The news has been full of articles recently about viral infections and disease prevention in hospitals, especially as it relates to Ebola. Both viral and bacterial infections are not only making people ill, but they are also resulting in fatalities.

The best way to prevent the spread of viral disease and to prevent patients from contracting an infection is to prevent it in the first place. The original methods are still the best, and that is why simply washing hands properly is so important.

A recent study carried out by Kaiser Health, a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California, examined hospitals around the country looking at the rate of infections and the methods of control they were using.

Most of the hospitals met the benchmarks across each of the requirements, but Connecticut was declared to be the worst place in the country with over 50 percent of the hospitals in the state falling below the national benchmark in at least one of the six categories of infection.

The categories are tracked by the federal government and include those which come from invasive procedures, such as a central line leading to a blood infection, or a catheter leading to a urinary tract infection and post operative infection in areas of the body where surgery was performed. In addition they track the two main bacterial infections, including MRSA.

Of the 27 hospitals checked in Connecticut, 16 of them were below average for at least one infection category.

While the country is focusing on the Ebola virus and wearing hazmat suits to prevent infection, far more people are still contracting preventable infections in hospitals, though it gets far less attention in the news. In fact according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2011, 75,000 died of an infection acquired while an inpatient in hospital.