This health video looks into ways to make your stay in hospital safer.
Read the full transcript »
Jennifer Mathews: Each year as many as two millions Americans develop hospital-borne infections; infections that can be deadly. Sanjay Saint: Some infections can be treated with antibiotics or removal of a device like a catheter, other infections lead to overwhelming Bacteremia and death. Jennifer Mathews: One culprit central venous catheters, some three million are used yearly, 150,000 will cause infections. Sanjay Saint: It causes a direct communication between the skin where a lot of bacteria live in the blood stream. Jennifer Mathews: Now hospitals like the University of Michigan are showing an antiseptic coated catheter can help. Sanjay Saint: We found that the incidence of infection decreased by about 36%. Jennifer Mathews: Despite being more expensive doctor Saint says that catheter will save hospitals a $100,000 a year in shorter stays and less antibiotics. Urinary catheters are also a problem responsible for 40% of hospital-borne infections. Sanjay Saint: Urinary catheters are used inappropriately between a third to half of the days that a patient has a catheter. Jennifer Mathews: Nearly 40% of doctors are unaware their patients have catheters. A simple reminder system could make the difference. Sanjay Saint: After two days of urinary catheterization, the physician will be reminded that their own patient has a urinary catheter and the default that will be removal of catheter rather than continuation. Hospital-Acquired Infections are common, costly, and harmful but fortunately, increasingly they are preventable. Jennifer Mathews: This is Jennifer Mathews is reporting.