Betsy McCaughey, former lieutenant governor of New York and founder of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths, talks about MRSA statistics and how to protect yourself.
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Betsy McCaughey on MRSA Dr. Travis Stork: We actually have someone else joining us by Polycom from New York City. She’s the former lieutenant governor of that state, Betsy McCaughey. A patient advocate founded the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths. Betsy, we want to welcome to the show as well. Betsy McCaughey: Thank you and in fact I founded it because when I left the office, I was so disturbed to have heard so many people come to me with stories as tragic as Carol said, going to the hospital with the spouse, with the child, with the parent often for something like a hip replacement or even for the happiest reason of all to have a baby and they contracted a deadly MRSA infection. Dr. Travis Stork: So one of the things you’ve looked at is the numbers and you actually think the number of infections is higher than the government count. Is that correct? Betsy McCaughey: That’s right. It’s shocking that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention really doesn’t have up-to-date and fully accurate numbers on this. They a guess estimate that they made way back in 2003 based on nine-year-old data. Fortunately, the CDC has not made stopping hospital infections, one of its highest priorities. We’ve been able to show the hospitals that preventing these infections not only saves lives but also makes the hospital more profitable and that’s why hospitals have opened their doors to my organization, the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths. Dr. Travis Stork: And how do you get these hospitals to make changes that will hopefully eradicate the MRSA infections in their hospitals? Betsy McCaughey: Some of the steps you need to take before you go to the hospital, one of them is if you're having surgery and you bathe with chlorhexidine, that’s a type of soap not a brand name. If you bathe with that, four days in a row, it will help remove dangerous bacteria from your own skin that could get in the surgical site infection and cause a nasty MRSA infection. And now we even have a kit that we’re sending out to patients and families. They can use some of the items before they get to the hospital and others once they’re there. Dr. Travis Stork: Well, Betsy we want to thank you so much for what you're doing. We appreciate you're joining us today. Betsy McCaughey: Thank you.
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