Malani Study: Half of Infection Deaths Linked Directly to Hospital Care

Study: Half of Infection Deaths Linked Directly to Hospital Care
Laura Landro
Wall Street Journal Health Blog
February 22, 2010

Sepsis and pneumonia, two infections that can often be prevented with tight infection control practices in hospitals, killed 48,000 patients and added $8.1 billion to heath care costs in 2006 alone, according to a study published today in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Researchers analyzed 69 million discharge records from hospitals in 40 states between 1998 and 2006; the length of stay and mortality rates for the infections didn’t change substantially over time, the study found, and high infection rates persist.

The news, principal investigator Ramanan Laxminarayan tells the Health Blog, is that the study for the first time links about half of all infection deaths directly to infections acquired in the hospital in the course of care.

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