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JAMA Study: U.S. Hospital Infections Cost $10 Billion Annually

Health care-associated infections (HAIs) affect 1 in 20 patients,catheter-thumb-150x100-25064.jpg according to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). HAIs are a top-10 cause of death in the United States, killing 2,500 annually, but the problem only seems to be worsening.

A new medical study found another way to measure the impact of HAIs: Their cost. According to Harvard researchers, health care-associated infections cost the American medical industry approximately $10 billion every year.

While human lives mean more than dollars and cents the research shows another way that HAIs negatively burden American health care, where costs are already out of control.

The most costly type of HAI is a surgical site infection; each surgery infection costs an average of nearly $21,000 to treat. Urinary catheter and central line bloodstream catheter infections are also common, according to the study published in JAMA.

Hospital-acquired infections usually result from substandard sanitization. HAIs can spread because a nurse doesn't wash his or her hands frequently enough, or when hospital equipment isn't thoroughly disinfected after patient use.

If you or a loved one has been seriously harmed or killed by a HAI, an experienced Detroit infectious diseases attorney can help you explore your legal options for recovering damages.

McKeen & Associates, PC is a prominent injury law firm with a heavy focus on complicated medical malpractice cases. McKeen & Associates is based in Detroit, Michigan, but uses its expertise and resources to serve HAI victims throughout the country.

Source: JAMA Internal Medicine, "Health Care-Associated Infections: A Meta-Analysis Of Costs And Financial Impact On The U.S. Health Care System," Eyal Zimlichman, Sept. 2, 2013

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