Weekly News via Email
   Set as homepage | Add to favorites | Customer Service | Subscribe Now | Place an Ad | Contact Us | Sitemap Tuesday, 09.30.2014
Classifieds
News Archive
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
 1  2  3  4
 5  6  7  8  9  10  11
 12  13  14  15  16  17  18
 19  20  21  22  23  24  25
 26  27  28  29  30
Online Extras
Site Services
Around Bend
Outdoor Fun
Travel Info
Shop Local




Members Of



Poll: Today's Live Poll
Email to a friend | Print this | PDF version | Comments (0 posted) 
  Blogger |   del.icio.us |   digg |   newsvine

Nov 24,2006
Hospital Infections: ‘Culture of Secrecy?’
by Professor Michael Myers

What hospitals do not tell you can make you sick; even kill you.  Enter if you must, but do not be naïve.  You have a one-in-twenty chance of contracting an infectious disease.

That translates to two million infected patients per year, 90,000 of whom die; a death toll greater than automobile accidents and homicides combined.   And when a person dies from an infection, it may simply be charted as death “resulting from the complications of surgery.”

Despite this death toll, hospital infection rates are rarely publicly disclosed.  Only six states—with Florida, Pennsylvania and Illinois taking the lead—have enacted legislation compelling hospital-specific disclosure of infection rates.  Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, is spearheading a nationwide campaign to require hospitals to disclose their infection rates.

States like South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado and Missouri have thus far chosen to keep this critical element of “informed consent” under wraps.  The legal doctrine of “informed consent” presumes a patient must be told about the advantages and the risks of proposed treatment.

State hospital associations have resisted legislation mandating disclosure despite the fact that danger from these infections is worsening.  Increasingly, these infections cannot be cured by commonly-used antibiotics.

In 1974, only 2 percent of staphylococcus aureus infections were methicillin-resistant.  By 2003, that figure had soared to 57 percent and now is more than 60 percent. At the same time, a pilot project involving 29 Iowa hospitals has demonstrated that drug-resistant infections can be reduced by as much as 85 percent with aggressive education.

Hospital infections add $30.5 billion to the nation’s health care costs.  An unintended irony is the fact that patients, directly or through their insurance carrier, must pay a hospital for treating the infectious disease it caused.  In that sense, hospitals profit from the diseases they cause.

The next time you or a member of your family is admitted to a hospital, ask the attending physician about the hospital’s current infection rate.  Unless you live in one of the six states requiring public disclosure, it is unlikely the physician will know the rate, or be allowed to disclose it.

(Pro bono legal information, advice and assistance is available to persons 55 and older through the USD Senior Legal Helpline, 1-800-747-1895)

727 times read

Related news
Deadly staph infections prompt research on best treatment for cuts, scrapes by David Bearden & David Stauth posted on Dec 07,2007

Infection blamed for 12-year-old's death by UPI posted on Oct 26,2007

San Diego wild animal park euthanizes baby elephant by Jeanette Steele - CNS posted on Feb 08,2008

The Elderlaw Forum: Physician ignores ruptured appendix complaint by Professor_Michael_Myers posted on Aug 31,2007


Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00 (total 7 votes)

Market Information
Breaking News
Most Popular
Most Commented
Featured Columnist
Horoscope Guide
Aquarius Aquarius Libra Libra
Aries Aries Pisces Pisces
Cancer Cancer Sagittarius Sagittarius
Capricorn Capricorn Scorpio Scorpio
Gemini Gemini Taurus Taurus
Leo Leo Virgo Virgo
Local Attractions
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau

Mt. Bachelor Resort
Mt. Bachelor Resort

Les Schwab Ampitheater
Les Schwab Ampitheater

Deschutes County Fairgrounds
Deschutes County
Fairgrounds

Tower Theatre
Tower Theatre

The High Desert Museum

Advertisements



Deschutes County

Google  
  Web    BendWeekly.com
© 2006 Bend Weekly News
A .Com Endeavors, Inc. Company.
All Rights Reserved. Terms under
which this service is provided to you.
Please read our Privacy Policy. Contact us.
Bend Weekly News & Event Guide Online
   Save the Net
Advertisement
External sites open in new window,
not endorsed by BendWeekly.com
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Google Add to MSN Add to My AOL
What are RSS headlines?