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.