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Hospital infections continue to claim lives

The National Institutes of Health is still not required to report hospital-borne infections to states. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, continues to monitor and try to control deadly outbreaks. Yet, hospital negligence continues to occur in Pennsylvania and around the U.S.

The recent death of a young boy in a neighboring state remains couched in relative secrecy, although NIH advised the county in which it occurred of the fatality. Unfortunately, bacterial infections, resistant to many antibiotics, continue to proliferate in many U.S. hospitals. Around 6 percent of U.S. hospitals are dealing with the newest class of "superbugs."

First appearing in North Carolina in 2001, this resistant bacterial strain, called Klebsiella infections, is apparently spreading throughout American hospitals. Like most bacterial dangers, controlling and preventing these infections depends on good hygiene, room cleaning diligence and wise use of antibiotics.

Similar to many hospital-related infections, this currently dangerous strain is related to Staphylococcus and E. Coli, varieties. The classic immunity of open publishing of hospital infection and patient fatality statistics continues to be an issue with open public information.

2011 data indicate that around 80 percent of Maryland acute care hospitals had at least one patient suffer or die from this Klebsiella bacteria. This newer killer seems to prey on the severely ill, with weakened immune systems. Experts quickly reassure the public that these, or similar hospital-borne bacterial infections, create no risk to healthy citizens who are not hospitalized.

However, it is disturbing that more bacterial infections appear to be increasingly immune to antibiotic medications. The increasing danger of hospitalization is troubling. The deadly results are becoming scary.

How do you view these apparent risks of bacterial infection in U.S. hospitals? Is it a serious concern, or a fact of life that needs to be addressed?

Source: Washington Post, "NIH superbug claims 7th victim," Brian Vastag and Lena H. Sun, Sept. 14, 2012

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