Hospitals battle patient infections

CDC says hospital associated infections on the decline.

Government health officials say despite progress, more needs to be done to keep patients safe and prevent them from getting infections while in the hospital.

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) shows on any given day, one in 25 patients is battling an infection that adds up to more than 720-thousand infections a year.

â??One in 9 people who get a hospital associated infection go on to die. This is a high rate and something which we think is preventable,â?? says Dr. Michael Bell of the CDC.

Pneumonia is at the top of the list as well as infections related to surgery and infections that cause gastrointestinal illness, and Bell believes antibiotics only fuel the germs.

â??Those pathogens are driven and made worse by too much antibiotic use,â?? warns Bell.

The CDC says progress has been made. Infections related to some common surgeries have declined as well as infections related to tubes placed in the chest or arm.

Victoria Nahum's son died from a hospital related infection. She now spearheads an effort to keep patients safe.

There are some things people can do to lower their risk of infection says Nahum. â??Things like asking questions, insisting on proper hand hygiene every time anyone touches them, even their family members."

Also, ask when catheters and other tubes can be removed. They are often a freeway for germs to enter the body.

Missouri has an online database to see hospital infection rates for common hospital procedures.

You can search date for your local hospital here.