Costly Hospital Infections

Numbers Reported at Conference

ATLANTA, GA-The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported at the 4th Decennial International Conference on Nosocomial and Healthcare-associated Infections that infections patients acquire while in the hospital for other health problems account for nearly $5 billion in health costs in the US. The CDC claims almost two million patients get nosocomial infections and approximately 88,000 people die as a result. The high cost is in part a result of additional hospital stays that insurance companies often do not reimburse since they were a cause of treatment and not the reason for the original hospital visit. Dr. William Jarvis, MD, the CDC Chief of the Investigation and Prevention Branch of the Hospital Infections Program stated "the best answer to both the human costs and the economic costs of these infections is an effective infection control program within each healthcare setting."