Skip 
Navigation Link

1215 South Walnut Ave.
Demopolis, AL 36732 map map 

Access to Care: 334.289.2410

Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Tongue, Lip Snip Surgeries May Be Overused in U.S. NewbornsBrain Injury Often a Devastating Side Effect of Domestic ViolenceAnti-Vaccine Movement a 'Man-Made' Health Crisis, Scientists WarnWhen Traditional Rx Fails, Psoriasis Patients Seek AlternativesVets With PTSD Face Higher Odds for Early Death From Multiple CausesU.S. Cases of Infant Gut Illness Plummet After Vaccine IntroducedThe Safer Way to Ease Post-Surgical PainOverweight Kids Are at Risk for High Blood PressureAHA News: 3 Simple Steps Could Save 94 Million Lives WorldwideRace Affects Life Expectancy in Major U.S. CitiesU.S. Measles Cases for 2019 Already Exceed All Annual Totals Since 1992: CDCHigh LDL Cholesterol Tied to Early-Onset Alzheimer'sBlood Banks Could Help Screen for Hereditary High CholesterolHigh Measles Rates Mean Kids, Adults Need Proper Vaccination: CDCCPAP Brings Longer Life for Obese People With Sleep Apnea: StudyAHA News: Is Yoga Heart-Healthy? It's No Stretch to See Benefits, Science SuggestsMigraine Pain Linked to Raised Suicide RiskInsurers' Denials of Opioid Coverage Spurs CDC to Clarify GuidelinesColorado Sees Spike in ER Visits After Pot Made LegalNeed to Be Vaccinated? Try Your Local PharmacyAHA News: Opioid Meds Pose Danger to Kidney Disease PatientsMajor Flooding Can Bring Skin Infection DangersFDA Aims to Strengthen Sunscreen RulesAs U.S. Measles Outbreaks Spread, Why Does 'Anti-Vax' Movement Persist?Health Tip: Know Your Family's Medical HistoryDisrupted Sleep Plagues Hospital Patients, But New Program Might HelpClimate Change Already Hurting Human Health, Review ShowsCalling All Blood Donors …Radiation Doses From CT Scans Vary WidelyCan Herbal Drug Kratom Kill?Health Tip: Use Medical Devices SafelyDon't Let Holiday Season Stress Worsen Your Allergies, AsthmaA Family Tragedy Highlights Carbon Monoxide DangerPhysical Therapy Can Help You Avoid Opioids When Joint Pain StrikesEczema Can Drive People to Thoughts of Suicide: StudyHospitalizations Rising Among the HomelessMillions of Americans Still Breathing Secondhand Smoke: ReportMany Americans Unaware of Promise of Targeted, 'Personalized' Medicine: PollMost Americans Lie to Their DoctorsWhat's Best for Babies With Recurring Ear InfectionsAfter a Spouse's Death, Sleep Woes Up Health RisksConcussion Tied to Suicide RiskMajor Injuries Take a Toll on Mental HealthNew Cholesterol Guidelines Focus on Personalized ApproachHome Health-Care Tests: Proceed With CautionU.S. Hospitals Making Headway Against InfectionsHard Arteries Hard on the Aging Brain?Widely Used Antipsychotics May Not Ease Delirium in ICUNew Nerve Stimulation Technique Might Relieve Back PainAHA: Stiffening of Blood Vessels May Point to Dementia Risk
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Cancer
Men's Health
Women's Health

U.S. Hospitals Making Headway Against Infections

HealthDay News
by By Serena GordonHealthDay Reporter
Updated: Oct 31st 2018

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 31, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- You're less likely to pick up a nasty infection during a hospital stay in the United States than you were just a few years ago, a new report finds.

Between 2011 and 2015, a patient's risk of catching a hospital-acquired infection dropped 16 percent, researchers said.

"The findings are encouraging. Progress is being made in infections affecting hospitals in the United States. But more work needs to be done," said the study's lead author, Dr. Shelley Magill, a medical officer with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health care-associated infections are a significant threat to patient safety. The study authors estimated that in 2011, about 648,000 patients had at least one health-care associated infection in the United States.

Pneumonia was the most common infection, followed by digestive infections and surgical site infections, the study found.

Most of the digestive infections were caused by Clostridioides difficile. These C. difficile infections are typically related to antibiotic use, and can be deadly. Magill said these infections didn't show a decline.

Working with 10 state health departments, the researchers recruited up to 25 hospitals in each state to participate in the study. Each participating hospital chose one day during a specified time period to record how many patients had infections.

In 2011, 183 hospitals participated. In 2015, 199 hospitals were included.

Four percent of hospital patients had a health care-associated infection in 2011. By 2015, that number had dropped to 3.2 percent.

The biggest declines were seen in surgical site infections and urinary tract infections, according to the study.

Magill said fewer people had urinary catheters in 2015. Also, she said, there was a focus on getting those catheters out of patients as soon as possible to reduce infection risk.

The types of surgical site infection vary, but Magill said specific efforts to reduce these infections appear to be paying off. However, the new study didn't collect information on the specific practices hospitals were taking.

Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, said this was a very well-done study that captures data from a lot of hospitals.

"We've been making progress against health care-associated infections, and it's hard to move the needle on a national level. But progress is still slow. These findings shouldn't make us complacent. We have a lot of work ahead still," said Jha, who wasn't involved with the study.

What can patients do to protect themselves?

One of the most important steps in infection prevention is remarkably simple -- frequent, thorough hand-washing. Jha said if you haven't seen a doctor or nurse washing their hands before they exam you, it's fine to ask.

"There's nothing wrong with making sure people are doing what they're supposed to be doing," he said.

Also, if you notice any change in the way you're feeling, let someone on your health care team know about the change, because it may signal a developing infection.

"Be vigilant in the hospital if new symptoms develop," Jha said.

Magill agreed that hand-washing is "absolutely essential."

C. difficile infections remain a challenge, Magill and Jha said. And Magill said the rates of pneumonia are also concerning.

The study results were published Nov. 1 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

More information

Learn what you can do to stay safe during hospitalizations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.