Are Hospitals Spreading Infections?
So is your hospital safe? According to a recent Associated Press story an estimated 1 in 20 patients pick up infections they didn't have when they arrived, some caused by dangerous 'superbugs' that are hard to treat.
Well it makes sense that sick people go to hospitals; the bad thing is that some get sick in the hospital. According to the Centers for Disease Control those hospital infections are tied to an estimated 100,000 deaths each year and add as much as $30 billion a year in medical costs. Medicare is supposedly going to stop paying for treatment of some infections that occur after a patient checks in to the hospital.
It is also getting expensive for hospitals to fight these bugs. Newser reports Xenex Healthcare Services, a Texas company that makes a portable, $125,000 machine that's rolled into rooms to zap C-diff and other bacteria and viruses dead with ultraviolet light. Xenex has sold or leased devices to more than 100 U.S. hospitals.
This is becoming popular and will certainly add to everyone's health care cost. Hospitals have found that it is not enough just to keep patient care instruments bug free but also have to worry about things like bed rails and TV remote controls.
We don't know the answer; but we know that in the end it will cost us all more for a hospital visit (if we want to leave there without infections.)