Hospital infections are riskier worldwide than flying
Written By Betty van der Mark on Saturday, July 23, 2011 | 6:08 AM
If you were admitted to hospital tomorrow in any country your chances of being subjected to an error in your care would be something like 1 in 10. This compared with a risk of dying in an air crash of about 1 in 10 million passengers, professor Liam Donaldson, England's former chief medical officer said. The risk of acquiring infections is significantly higher in intensive care units, and is particularly associated with the use of devices such as urinary catheters and ventilators, the report said. The impact of the infections implies longer hospital stays, higher chances of long-term disability, increased antibiotic resistance, a massive financial burden for health system, high costs for patients and their families, and excess deaths. Evidence suggests that health care-associated infection can be prevented and the burden by as much as 50 per cent or more.