Although new, stricter hospital protocols have been implemented in many places to decrease the precedence of hospital acquired infections (HAIs), there’s only been a slight decrease.
1 in 25 (4% of) patients get an infection thanks to a hospital stay—and more than 10% of those who have one die. The sickest patients are the ones most at risk.
The CDC recommends three steps to decrease hospital related infections:
1) Stricter hygiene policies—more scrubbing of rooms, doctors, and tools. The CDC wants patients to ask doctors if they’ve washed there hands before coming into their room (most doctors will wash upon entering, so you can less confrontationally watch before asking).
2) Doctors need to be smarter about prescribing antibiotics. The over-prescription of antibiotics is how we got in this mess, after all! About half of all hospital patients are prescribed at least one antibiotic. MRSA is proving to be one of the harder HAIs to get rid of.
3) The CDC advises doctors to think twice about using invasive treatments like catheters, which increase a patient’s risk of infection.
Don’t fret, though: not all hospitals are equal. Some are leading the way with two big changes: close monitoring of doctors to ensure hand washing, and nano silver coated surfaces to kill pathogens in harder and less often cleaned places, like curtains, walls, etc. There are even some places using nano silver coated catheters, decreasing the risk of infection even more!
What steps do you think hospitals should take to stop infections?