Numbers Don't Lie

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Washing hands can save lives

The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 90,000 Americans die every year from infections they contract while hospitalized. So some hospitals asking Doctors and nurses to follow few simple and cheap procedures - as basic as hand-washing - to reduce the spread of infection in hospitals.
The current New England Journal of Medicine reports on a study conducted in Michigan hospitals to see if increased vigilance on hand hygiene would cut down on the incidence of catheter infections. And it worked, big-time. A year and a half after the hand-washing procedure changes were made, the rates of catheter-related bloodstream infections dropped by 66%, according to the study.
What were they (Doctors and nurses ) thinking?

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4 Comments:

Blogger Maroto said...

oh, my! This reminds me of a book entitled 'The Century of Surgery', which describes how hygiene was essential to make surgeries feasible. In the end of the XIXth century, that is.

7:03 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

in the UK it's been in the press for some time. apparently people are dying like flies in hospitals across the country because of something called MRSA. all that is needed to prevent it is for hospital staff to wash hands.

7:06 PM

 
Anonymous caveblogem said...

My understanding is that they think "I am clean, it is those others whose hands spread diseases," just like most people think.

This particular post seems to hit the theme of your blog particularly well. It is one of those numbers that can change the way one thinks about the world. Doctors and hospital administrators seem to learn this lesson (when they do) ever couple of decades. And then they forget.

8:23 AM

 
Blogger Mike said...

AARP just came out with a new article on this. (they've done articles on this before)

http://www.aarp.org/bulletin/yourhealth/dirty_hospitals.html

8:59 PM

 

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