MEDICAL DISCOVERY: GOOD HYGIENE REDUCES HOSPITAL INFECTIONS
We don’t know who paid for this study but the results are something our mothers taught us long ago! The New England Journal of Medicine recently published the results of a Michigan study which concluded that common-sense safety and hygiene practices, often overlooked by doctors, can almost wipe out a dangerous type of blood infection which kills thousands of patients each year in U.S. hospitals.
The study focused on central-line catheters, which deliver drugs and nutrition to patients through a vein in the neck, chest, or groin. In the study, doctors and nurses agreed to wash their hands and wear protective clothing before inserting or handling the catheters. The result – the new practice nearly eliminated catheter-related blood infections.
It has been estimated that 28,000 patients die each year from blood infections caused by central-line catheters. Dr. Carolyn Clancy, director of the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, suggests that patients ask their doctor if they have washed their hands before inserting a catheter. The question might save your, or a family member’s, life.
Read the study here.