Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Infections Are Common in Hospitals

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Infections Are Common in Hospitals

Article excerpt

Most cases of the infection known as Clostridium difficile are contracted in a medical setting, according to data cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.).

When C.D.C. and state-led research programs of 71 hospitals in New York, Massachusetts, and Illinois were analyzed, it was found that 50 percent of C. difficile infections occurred in patients who had been recently transferred or discharged from another medical facility.

Extra health care costs and high death rates caused by the infection are at an all-time high, according to the C.D.C. In 1999 and 2000, only 3,000 deaths from C. difficile were recorded, but that number increased by seven-fold in 2006 and 2007. Most of those deaths (90 percent) were among patients 65 years of age and older. An estimated $1.3 billion was spent nationally to combat the infection in 2003, with the average case costing between $5,042 and $7,179.

The C.D.C. released a short list of preventative measures for hospital workers to follow to stem the tide of C. …

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