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Deadly germs take grim toll in hospitals
Star-Telegram ^ | 3-4-07 | JAN JARVIS

Posted on 03/04/2007 6:18:03 AM PST by Dysart

The week before Christmas was filled with excitement for 6-year-old Macenzie and her mother, Lacie Simmons.

They decorated the tree, shopped and put an inflatable snow globe in the yard.

The festive mood ended abruptly Dec. 20 when Simmons collapsed in the hallway of her parents' Grand Prairie home. When the EMTs arrived, Macenzie clung to her mother.

"I just need to take care of my mom," she repeated as she patted her mother's arm. It was the last time she saw her mother alive.

"Her blood pressure bottomed out, her heart failed and that was it," said Lacie's mother, Renee Simmons.

Within 26 hours, Lacie Simmons was dead. A preliminary autopsy showed that an infection killed her. Back surgery three weeks earlier had hardly slowed the single mother.

But her parents believe she picked up the infection after surgery to fuse two discs in her spine.

Anyone who goes into the hospital could end up the same way as Lacie, who was just 28 and healthy, Simmons said.

"It's a crapshoot," she said.

Each year, an estimated 2 million patients -- 1 in 20 people -- get a serious infection while hospitalized on an outpatient or inpatient basis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than 90,000 of these patients die, most often from infections acquired through intravenous tubes, catheters and ventilators. Treating them costs the country more than $4.5 billion a year.

Infections lurking in the nation's hospitals have been a well-kept secret for years because information is not publicly reported, said Lisa McGiffert, director of Consumers Union's Stop Hospital Infection Campaign in Austin.

"People need to understand that hospitals are full of bacteria," she said. "It lives in the environment, and nurses and doctors carry that bacteria from patient to patient."

Many hospitals already collect data and are trying to address infection rates with prevention programs. The Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council shares data on infection rates with medical facilities throughout the area.

At least 39 states have introduced legislation pushing hospitals to publicly disclose how many patients get serious infections, McGiffert said.

In Texas, Rep. Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, introduced a bill in the new legislative session to require reporting of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, which can cause deadly staph infections.

The Advisory Panel on Health-Care Associated Infections' recommendations focus on creating a reporting system that reduces infection rates, said Joel Ballew, director of government affairs for Texas Health Resources, a faith-based healthcare provider that includes Harris Methodist Hospital System, Presbyterian Health Care Resources and Arlington Memorial Hospital. The recommendations also seek to educate consumers and reduce healthcare costs.

"Hopefully, it's a win-win for everyone," Ballew said.

Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, Rep. Yvonne Davis, D-Dallas, and Rep Dianne Delisi, R-Temple, have filed bills that follow the recommendations. Their proposals call for a mandatory, phased-in reporting system, with central line bloodstream infections, surgical sites and respiratory infections measured first.

The last thing a sick person needs is another illness, which is why it's so important that steps are taken to minimize exposure to infections, Nelson said.

"We don't want people to be afraid to go to the hospital when they need to because they're afraid they'll come out sicker than when they went in," she said.

The problem's root

Four years after drug companies starting mass-producing penicillin in 1943, microbes that could resist it started cropping up, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

In the 1970s, the problem worsened as soldiers returning from Vietnam brought home penicillin-resistant gonorrhea. Since then, overuse of antibiotics led to a growing list of drug-resistant organisms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that, today, 70 percent of the bacteria that cause hospital infections are resistant to at least one antibiotic.

One of the biggest threats is the staph infection MRSA. Nearly three-fourths of patients' rooms are contaminated with the bacteria that cause it, according to the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths, or RID, an advocacy group. A healthcare worker need only touch a contaminated cabinet or bedrail to spread the infection to the next person. White coats, stethoscopes and blood pressure cuffs can also carry bacteria.

Myron Skinner, a retired Fort Worth pathologist, got a staph infection after heart surgery in 2006.

Skinner was a robust 81-year-old who had spent a month traveling through Europe before coming home to have surgery. Skinner and his wife, Jane, expected him to recover without complications.

"When he went through the doors to surgery, I never thought I would not have another trip to Europe -- and neither did he," Jane Skinner said. "He was as chipper as he could be."

A week after surgery, his lungs filled with fluid and staph pneumonia set in, Skinner said. Doctors tried at least seven antibiotics before he died six weeks later.

Watchdog groups have taken a close look at how the nation's hospitals got so sick. The biggest culprit: lack of hygiene.

While CDC guidelines call for health professionals to clean their hands between patients and wear a mask, sterile gown and gloves while inserting an IV, in reality, it happens less than 50 percent of the time, according to the National Quality Forum.

"It's something our mothers taught us, but people get busy and don't realize they haven't washed their hands," said Dr. William Sutker, director of medical education for Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.

Hand-washing could prevent 20,000 patient deaths each year, according to the CDC.

"We can't get rid of all infections just by washing our hands every time, but that will help," McGiffert said.

Jean Czajkowski's 80-year-old mother developed several infections after gallbladder surgery in 2005. Czajkowski said she watched a nurse insert a catheter in her mother, then touch monitors, bedrails and other objects throughout the room, all while wearing the same pair of contaminated gloves.

"I think the gloves give people a false sense of security," said Czajkowski, of Fort Worth. "The mentality of the healthcare professional seems to be that if they are protecting themselves with the gloves, they do not have to worry about what they touch and contaminate for the next patient, doctor, visitor or nurse."

Measuring infection rates

Most hospitals collect infection data, but few report the results to a regulatory agency, accreditation board or the public, according to Consumers Union.

Since 1970, the CDC has had a voluntary reporting program. More recently, Hospital Compare, a Web site created by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, asked hospitals to provide data on quality control measures, such as the use of preventative antibiotics before surgery. But consumers say the data are often dated and of limited use.

Consumers don't know what they're getting into until they're hospitalized, said Dorrine DeChant of Fort Worth.

When her father, Tom DeChant, a 78-year-old retired postal worker, was admitted to a San Antonio hospital for the treatment of gastric bleeding, he expected to be released within a few days. But as the days turned to weeks and he grew more lethargic, it became clear something was terribly wrong.

On June 12, six weeks after DeChant was hospitalized, he died. After DeChant's death, his family learned the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease had gotten into the hospital's water system, infecting him and others.

Since then, Dorrine DeChant has pushed for legislation to require public reporting by hospitals. She sees the proposed legislation as a good start.

"Imagine if a Boeing 757 was crashing every day of the year with no survivors," DeChant said. "That's how many people die from hospital-acquired infections."

What is needed is a mandatory reporting system that is useful to consumers, McGiffert said. Hospitals are keen on pushing for process measures -- such as the number of patients given antibiotics before surgery -- when what they should be measuring is whether those processes work, she said.

"What people want to see is how likely it is I will get an infection at that hospital," McGiffert said. "Measuring processes doesn't translate into reducing infections."

Public reporting of infection rates has a dual benefit, said Star West, Texas Hospital Association's director of policy analysis.

"It gives hospitals an incentive to get infection rates down," she said. "But it also gives consumers information on which hospitals have the highest infection rates."

Most hospitals already keep tabs on the most serious infections, said Dr. Joseph Prosser, vice president and chief quality officer for Harris Methodist Fort Worth hospital. Less serious ones are managed and treated, but not tracked as much.

"We apply our resources to those truly life-threatening infections -- such as bloodstream or pneumonia -- that clearly have a much greater risk of death," he said.

Infection rates can vary from one hospital to another, making it difficult to compare medical facilities that treat many patients with compromised immune systems and conditions that make them vulnerable with those that do not, said Dr. Ken Smithson, vice president of research at VHA, a national healthcare alliance.

Consumers need to understand that not every infection acquired in a hospital is preventable, he said.

"Someone with a bullet wound is mostly likely to have an infection, and it's no slam on the hospital," Smithson said. "What is important is to subtract out cases that are not preventable so we can get an idea of what is preventable."

Pennsylvania pioneers reporting

Pennsylvania, the first state to require public reporting, found that in 2005 an average of 1.2 per 1,000 patients got infections while hospitalized. Of the 19,154 patients who got sick, 2,478 died.

It's still too early to tell how effective this kind of public reporting will be, but, anecdotally, Pennsylvania is doing more to prevent infections than states without laws, McGiffert said.

Pennsylvania is getting patients off ventilators quickly, using urinary catheters less and deploying rapid response teams at the first sign of a patient's decline.

Advocates are encouraging hospitals nationwide to test patients for MRSA.

Testing is especially important because MRSA can be found outside of hospitals. It commonly appears as painful swollen skin infections. In 2003, the CDC found that 12 percent of people with MRSA had no contact with a hospital before the infection.

Information on MRSA is collected and given back to hospitals to alert them to increases in the infection, said Susan McBride, vice president of data initiative at the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council.

"It's showing up in healthy athletes, in hot yoga studios and day-care centers." she said. "It's anywhere, anytime you have a lot of people in close proximity."

Lately staph infections rates have been pretty flat in hospitals, which means people are bringing them into medical facilities, McBride said.

Infections can be prevented through education, common sense and techniques that are clinically proven to be effective, McGiffert said.

"We can save a lot of lives pretty easily, if hospitals would just get right down to it," she said.

Area hospitals are trying to do just that by emphasizing hand-washing and other measures.

At Baylor, alcohol foam dispensers make hand-washing more convenient, Sutker said. Patients are also given cards encouraging them to ask their doctor about hand-washing.

Following these steps not only saves lives, it can save money.

The average additional cost for treating a patient who gets an infection is more than $15,000, according to Consumers Union.

Hospitals are really working to turn things around, Prosser said.

"There's a great deal of focus on doing the right thing for the right patient at the right time," he said.

Such efforts may have come too late for Lacie Simmons, but her family hopes to spare others of the same fate.

"She was young, she was healthy," said her mother, Renee Simmons. "This should not have happened."

IN THE KNOW

How to reduce your risk of getting an infection in a hospital

Ask hospital staff to clean their hands before treating you.

Ask that the diaphragm of the stethoscope be wiped with alcohol before use.

If you need a central line catheter, ask your doctor about one that is antibiotic-impregnated or silver-chlorhexidine coated to reduce infections.

If you need surgery, choose a surgeon with a low infection rate. Surgeons know their rate of infection for various procedures. If a surgeon refuses to tell you, consider choosing someone else.

Three to five days before surgery, shower daily with 4 percent chlorhexidine soap, available through pharmacies.

Ask your surgeon to have you tested for staphylococcus aureus at least a week before you are hospitalized.

Stop smoking well in advance of your surgery. Patients who smoke are three times as likely to develop a surgical site infection as nonsmokers.

On the day of surgery, remind your doctor that you may need an antibiotic one hour before the first incision.

Ask that you be kept warm during surgery. Patients who are kept warm resist infection better. Special blankets, hats, booties and warmed IV liquids can help.

Do not shave the surgical site. If hair must be removed, ask that clippers be used.

Ask that your surgeon limit the number of people in the operating room.

Ask your doctor about monitoring your glucose levels continuously during and after surgery, especially if you are having cardiac surgery. The stress of surgery often makes glucose levels spike erratically. When blood glucose levels are controlled to stay at 80-110 mg/unit, heart patients resist infection better.

Avoid a urinary tract catheter if possible. Ask for a diaper or bedpan instead.

If you must have an IV, make sure that it is inserted and removed under clean conditions and changed every three to four days. Alert hospital staff if any redness appears.

If you are planning to have a cesarean section take the same precautions as you would for any surgery. Women who have cesarean sections are 10 times more at risk for infection that those who give birth vaginally.

SOURCE: Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: germs; hospitals; infectionrates; reporting
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-59 next last

1 posted on 03/04/2007 6:18:11 AM PST by Dysart
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To: Dysart

MRSA is 100 times the threat "bird doo flu" is.


2 posted on 03/04/2007 6:18:53 AM PST by xcamel (Press to Test, Release to Detonate)
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To: xcamel
MRSA is 100 times the threat "bird doo flu" is.

Oh yeah, at least. And without any of the hype or even common knowledge. Go figure.

3 posted on 03/04/2007 6:24:35 AM PST by Dysart
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To: xcamel
My sister went into the Houston VA hospital in 2004 to have a bunion on her right foot scraped down. She acquired MSRA in the wound at the hospotal. The hospital had the CDC compare the MSRA she acquired to the MSRA they found in the A/C system in the operating room - they were the same.

Even with high dosage antibiotics she was unable to overcome the infection and her leg had to be amputated just below the knee in early 2006. Her life and her health have not been the same since.

The hospital knew they had a problem and still allowed surgeries to be performed. You've got to wonder why.

4 posted on 03/04/2007 6:29:52 AM PST by texgal (end no-fault divorce laws return DUE PROCESS & EQUAL PROTECTION to ALL citizens))
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To: xcamel

Anyone know any strategies to reduce the risk to these infections?

Obviously, the first would be to avoid surgery unless absolutely necessary.


5 posted on 03/04/2007 6:34:45 AM PST by webstersII
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To: Dysart

My sister had back surgery two weeks ago. She began to feel lousy immediately after the surgery and is now back in the hospital for treatment for a staph infection. Yesterday, she had another surgery to mop up the infection, must remain in the hospital for another week, and upon discharge, she'll be hooked up to an IV antibiotic drip, round the clock, for six weeks. Yikes!


6 posted on 03/04/2007 6:35:17 AM PST by Salvey (ancest)
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To: Dysart

So, who is developing the vaccine?


7 posted on 03/04/2007 6:38:33 AM PST by From many - one.
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To: texgal

Did any legal action result from this unfortunate incident?


8 posted on 03/04/2007 6:39:33 AM PST by Captain Rhino ( Dollars spent in India help a friend; dollars spent in China arm an enemy.)
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To: Dysart


BUMP

"How to reduce your risk of getting an infection in a hospital:"

"Ask hospital staff to clean their hands before treating you.

Ask that the diaphragm of the stethoscope be wiped with alcohol before use.

If you need a central line catheter, ask your doctor about one that is antibiotic-impregnated or silver-chlorhexidine coated to reduce infections.

If you need surgery, choose a surgeon with a low infection rate. Surgeons know their rate of infection for various procedures. If a surgeon refuses to tell you, consider choosing someone else.

Three to five days before surgery, shower daily with 4 percent chlorhexidine soap, available through pharmacies.

Ask your surgeon to have you tested for staphylococcus aureus at least a week before you are hospitalized.


Stop smoking well in advance of your surgery. Patients who smoke are three times as likely to develop a surgical site infection as nonsmokers.

On the day of surgery, remind your doctor that you may need an antibiotic one hour before the first incision.

Ask that you be kept warm during surgery. Patients who are kept warm resist infection better. Special blankets, hats, booties and warmed IV liquids can help.

Do not shave the surgical site. If hair must be removed, ask that clippers be used.

Ask that your surgeon limit the number of people in the operating room.

Ask your doctor about monitoring your glucose levels continuously during and after surgery, especially if you are having cardiac surgery. The stress of surgery often makes glucose levels spike erratically. When blood glucose levels are controlled to stay at 80-110 mg/unit, heart patients resist infection better.

Avoid a urinary tract catheter if possible. Ask for a diaper or bedpan instead.

If you must have an IV, make sure that it is inserted and removed under clean conditions and changed every three to four days. Alert hospital staff if any redness appears.

If you are planning to have a cesarean section take the same precautions as you would for any surgery. Women who have cesarean sections are 10 times more at risk for infection that those who give birth vaginally."




9 posted on 03/04/2007 6:40:14 AM PST by Dr. Scarpetta
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To: FrogHawk

*ping*


10 posted on 03/04/2007 6:41:45 AM PST by toomanygrasshoppers ("In technical terminology, he's a loon")
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To: Dysart

Many years ago we had a beautiful young mother come in for heart surgery and within days, while still in the hospital, she was dead from a staph infection. I worked in the bacterology in the lab, we cultured everyone and everything that she had been in contact with and found nothing. Finally we cultured her and found she was the carrier. After that, we cultured everyone BEFORE their surgery to be on the safe side. That is scary stuff.


11 posted on 03/04/2007 6:42:21 AM PST by YellowRoseofTx
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To: Letaka
Don't get sick. Don't go into the hospital. Ever. You know I'd worry my head off, especially after reading this. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
12 posted on 03/04/2007 6:43:08 AM PST by Shimmer128 (Happiness isn't free, it's priceless)
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To: Dysart
Each year, an estimated 2 million patients -- 1 in 20 people -- get a serious infection while hospitalized

Pennsylvania, the first state to require public reporting, found that in 2005 an average of 1.2 per 1,000 patients got infections while hospitalized

So which is it? I can't believe Pennsylvania is 50 times better than the national average.

13 posted on 03/04/2007 6:43:42 AM PST by NittanyLion
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To: Dr. Scarpetta
Yes, I meant to originally code that in bold when I posted the article... thanks!
14 posted on 03/04/2007 6:45:32 AM PST by Dysart
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To: Dr. Scarpetta

Thanks for the info. It could be a lifesaver to some people here.


15 posted on 03/04/2007 6:46:04 AM PST by webstersII
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To: Dysart

In a nutshell;

"I think the gloves give people a false sense of security," said Czajkowski, of Fort Worth. "The mentality of the healthcare professional seems to be that if they are protecting themselves with the gloves, they do not have to worry about what they touch and contaminate for the next patient, doctor, visitor or nurse."


16 posted on 03/04/2007 6:46:43 AM PST by pyx (Rule#1.The LEFT lies.Rule#2.See Rule#1. IF THE LEFT CONTROLS THE LANGUAGE, IT CONTROLS THE ARGUMENT.)
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To: Dysart

These infections are only the tip of the iceberg. Medical errors kill similar numbers every year.

Any other industry that charges as much and still loses customers at these rates would have been shut down long ago.

You can understand why so many are advocates of national health care even though the results would be even worse.


17 posted on 03/04/2007 6:47:27 AM PST by Erik Latranyi (The Democratic Party will not exist in a few years....we are watching history unfold before us.)
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To: Dysart
My mother had a toe removed May 2005, she is a diabetic. This was done out patient. She ended up with an infection in the area of the toe that migrated to the back of her heel due to rubbing of the shoe they told her to wear.

August 2005 they had to remove her leg above the knee, she had an artificial knee. She was in the hospital one week and physical therapy for 3 weeks. She came home with a bed sore the size of a pork chop. The doctor said I should put her in long term care because she was going to die, I brought her home. They sent her home with MRSA and never told me. It took months to appear to heal. Her stump drained and healed, swelled up and drained thru weak areas of the scar. This went on until Dec. 2006 when I had to take her to have an 'abscess' lanced, out patient of course. They had her come to the 'wound center' every Wednesday. All this time she was in severe pain. Finally the doctor at the wound center had her have a bone scan, then an MRI. She had more incisions made on her stump Feb. 5th, she was sent home with an order from Home Health to administer Vancomycin every 48 hours for 6 to ??? weeks. I connect it. Only good thing so far is that the pain finally stopped a week ago.

I truly believe that they never tried to get rid of the infection while she was in the hospital because they did not want to report it.

18 posted on 03/04/2007 6:47:32 AM PST by Dustbunny (The BIBLE - Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)
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To: webstersII; Dysart

It's a shocking article! Everyone should print it out and make copies for friends and family.


19 posted on 03/04/2007 6:47:57 AM PST by Dr. Scarpetta
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To: From many - one.
Not a vaccine, but drugmaker Wyeth is marketing the antibiotic Tygacil that is indicated for these sorts of infections.
20 posted on 03/04/2007 6:48:55 AM PST by NittanyLion
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To: Dustbunny

Terrible story!


21 posted on 03/04/2007 6:49:02 AM PST by Dr. Scarpetta
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To: YellowRoseofTx

"Finally we cultured her and found she was the carrier."

I don't understand being a "carrier" here.

Are you saying she was a carrier (i.e., infection is not active but is present) but it wasn't actively infecting her heart tissues until the surgery put it there?


22 posted on 03/04/2007 6:49:08 AM PST by webstersII
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To: texgal

I know exactly what you mean. I have the same problem happening with my mother.


23 posted on 03/04/2007 6:49:32 AM PST by Dustbunny (The BIBLE - Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)
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To: Dysart
MRSA is everywhere. Staphylococcus aureus has become a problem not just from the over use of antibiotics but because people do not finish their cycle of antibiotics.

Staphylococcus aureus is part of the bodies normal flora,and a lot of people have picked up MRSA just out in public. A person just doesn't fall over dead two weeks after surgery. There had to be some sign of infection say like a fever that was ignored that lead to sepsis.

24 posted on 03/04/2007 6:50:25 AM PST by Total Package (TOLEDO, OHIO THE MRSA INFECTION IN THE STATE)
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To: Salvey

My mother is on 'Vancomycin' drip every 48 hours. It MUST run for at least 120 min. every time.


25 posted on 03/04/2007 6:51:00 AM PST by Dustbunny (The BIBLE - Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)
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To: Erik Latranyi
These infections are only the tip of the iceberg. Medical errors kill similar numbers every year.

I believe there should be greater transparency of information with regard to these sorts of events. As a consumer I'd like to have access to mortality rates, infection rates, etc. so I could make an informed choice of hospital/physician. However, there are those who say such a system will make it difficult for high-risk patients to receive treatment.

26 posted on 03/04/2007 6:52:11 AM PST by NittanyLion
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To: webstersII
Are you saying she was a carrier (i.e., infection is not active but is present) but it wasn't actively infecting her heart tissues until the surgery put it there?

That was what I took it to mean from what the doctors said.
27 posted on 03/04/2007 6:52:22 AM PST by YellowRoseofTx
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To: Captain Rhino
You can't sue a VA hospital, no matter how badly they screw up. She's having to fight the IRS right now because they say she should not be getting her husband's military pension because she is now on disability. Even though it was the VA who caused the the disability.

She's only getting a total of $739 per month to live on. It doesn't seem right that her husband was a Vietnam vet with 4 tours of duty to his credit earned that pension but it is denied her because she underwent what should have been a simple procedure and they KNEW there was a problem with their ventilation system in the operating rooms.

We've contacted our local senators and house reps and all we've heard thus far is that they're working on it. In the meantime she has lost her home to foreclosure and most of her belongings had to be sold.

Our country does not treat its veterans well.

28 posted on 03/04/2007 6:53:37 AM PST by texgal (end no-fault divorce laws return DUE PROCESS & EQUAL PROTECTION to ALL citizens))
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To: NittanyLion

We live in Pennsylvania. They sent my mother home with an infection and never told me she had it.


29 posted on 03/04/2007 6:53:39 AM PST by Dustbunny (The BIBLE - Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)
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To: NittanyLion
I can't believe Pennsylvania is 50 times better than the national average.

Probably not that much better...I'd say their estimates are off, and go with Pennsylvania's actual reported rates, although the article does point out that hospitals that require reporting are believed to have better rates.

30 posted on 03/04/2007 6:55:17 AM PST by Dysart
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To: Dysart
Probably not that much better...I'd say their estimates are off, and go with Pennsylvania's actual reported rates, although the article does point out that hospitals that require reporting are believed to have better rates.

It makes sense to me that requiring reporting will lower the incidence. It occurred to me after posting that the national average may include patients hospitalized multiple times per year, while PA is including infections per hospitalization. So that may account for some of the difference as well.

31 posted on 03/04/2007 6:57:26 AM PST by NittanyLion
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To: texgal

"The hospital knew they had a problem and still allowed surgeries to be performed. You've got to wonder why."

Hospitals are like the Airlines, you play the probabilities and hope you never have to pay off. OR's make big big bucks and if its not running the Docs go elsewhere. Follow the money it always leads to the truth.


32 posted on 03/04/2007 6:59:36 AM PST by A Strict Constructionist (Nobles Oblige, BS, Well take care of it ourselves!)
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To: Dustbunny
know exactly what you mean. I have the same problem happening with my mother.

My prayers are with you and your mother for her to be able to overcome this horrible infection. My sister spent the better part of a year in the hospital as a result of this thing.

33 posted on 03/04/2007 7:01:20 AM PST by texgal (end no-fault divorce laws return DUE PROCESS & EQUAL PROTECTION to ALL citizens))
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To: NittanyLion
I believe there should be greater transparency of information with regard to these sorts of events. As a consumer I'd like to have access to mortality rates, infection rates, etc. so I could make an informed choice of hospital/physician. However, there are those who say such a system will make it difficult for high-risk patients to receive treatment.

Here is Pennsylvania, the hospitals voluntarily cooperated to report medical errors and hospital-sourced infections. In a single year, they attributed 32,000 deaths to those two causes --- this is only in Pennsylvania.

The nationwide numbers must be staggering.

34 posted on 03/04/2007 7:01:52 AM PST by Erik Latranyi (The Democratic Party will not exist in a few years....we are watching history unfold before us.)
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To: Dustbunny
My mother is on 'Vancomycin' drip every 48 hours. It MUST run for at least 120 min. every time.

Vancomycin can be a nephrotoxic antibiotic it usually comes in a 250ml bag so to run it at 125ml/hr is normal. The max rate that an IV is run is generally 150ml/hr, unless they are in acute renal failure is a diuretic faze.

35 posted on 03/04/2007 7:05:31 AM PST by Total Package (TOLEDO, OHIO THE MRSA INFECTION IN THE STATE)
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To: Salvey

What is amazing is that she caught this infection in the hospital and now she is back in the hospital for another week while they rip off her insurance company for an infection they caused.

If you took your car to a dealer and while they had it there , they rippd the fender off. That dealership would pay to put the fender back on. You go to the hospital and get sicker because of their problem ,and they just keep sending out the bills.

Yo go to a Doctor and he makes a mistake, then you have to go back and he charges you to rectify his mistake.


36 posted on 03/04/2007 7:07:32 AM PST by sgtbono2002 (I will forgive Jane Fonda, when the Jews forgive Hitler.)
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To: Dr. Scarpetta

Hubby recently hospitalized. They allowed the IV apparatus to be used for no more than two days before being replaced. He was on intraveinous Cipro the entire time as well. Continued on with the Cipro for another week after release from the hospital.


37 posted on 03/04/2007 7:07:55 AM PST by OldFriend (Swiftboating - Sinking a politician's Ship of Fools by Torpedoes of Truth)
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To: OldFriend
An IV site is generally good for 96 hours, depending on how the site looks.
38 posted on 03/04/2007 7:11:02 AM PST by Total Package (TOLEDO, OHIO THE MRSA INFECTION IN THE STATE)
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To: Total Package

Official protocol at this hospital. Two days!


39 posted on 03/04/2007 7:15:34 AM PST by OldFriend (Swiftboating - Sinking a politician's Ship of Fools by Torpedoes of Truth)
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To: OldFriend

That was good. How's he doing?


40 posted on 03/04/2007 7:17:12 AM PST by Dr. Scarpetta
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To: webstersII

The "In The Know" section at the bottom of the post listed many of the things that you can do.


41 posted on 03/04/2007 7:35:05 AM PST by Wuli
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To: y'all
I didn't post this to slam the health-care system (that certainly wouldn't be in my interest). I happen to believe that public reporting is important and existing protocols should be taken even more seriously. Better infection control methods should be developed. Of course, one should not enter the hospital for any procedure without weighing the risk/benefit calculus--there are no routine procedures as far as I'm concerned.

I've been hospitalized once; back in early 2000 I came down with an aggressive form of double pneumonia, delirious, I was admitted and given a 50% chance of survival. After hitting me with heavy doses of antibiotics, steroids, and nebulizer treatments, I slowly walked out of that hospital eight days later.(Spent another month at home recovering.) And I was otherwise a very healthy young man. I thank God for that hospital and physicians who directed my care. Looking back, it's fortuitous that I didn't acquire another pathogen while hospitalized because I likely wouldn't have been able to fight it off.

42 posted on 03/04/2007 7:37:00 AM PST by Dysart
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To: Dr. Scarpetta

Xray cassettes, esp the ones placed under patients during portable procedures, are in my mind one of the most filthy, germ carrying items in the hospital. Demand to have them wiped down first!


43 posted on 03/04/2007 7:41:15 AM PST by MadelineZapeezda (Madeline Albright ZaPeezda, (3 votes here to Duncan Hunter in 08))
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To: Dysart

"If you need surgery, choose a surgeon with a low infection rate. Surgeons know their rate of infection for various procedures."

I wonder if public disclosure of this information should be mandated by statute?


44 posted on 03/04/2007 7:43:04 AM PST by Mr J (All IMHO.)
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To: Mr J
I wonder if public disclosure of this information should be mandated by statute?

A good surgeon will be open about that if you ask. A state mandate wouldn't matter if the patient is oblivious to the issue.

45 posted on 03/04/2007 7:57:24 AM PST by Dysart
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To: MadelineZapeezda

Computer keyboards in hospitals couldn't be much better.


46 posted on 03/04/2007 8:02:46 AM PST by KoRn
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To: Dysart
Maybe this scandal with the Walter Reed hospital will open up how bad the VA hospitals really are. A friend of mine whose husband is Viet Nam Vet always has a bad time there.

I can't believe how they treat our Vets.
47 posted on 03/04/2007 8:19:24 AM PST by freekitty
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To: Dysart

excellent thread


48 posted on 03/04/2007 8:28:59 AM PST by Jason_b
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To: NittanyLion

No, I want a vaccine.

Research to be funded under national defense, as should be all infectious disease protection measures. War has changed.


49 posted on 03/04/2007 8:46:34 AM PST by From many - one.
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To: Dysart

BOOKbump


50 posted on 03/04/2007 8:48:00 AM PST by S.O.S121.500 (What did I do with my tagline..........?)
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