Hospital Infections Kill 48,000 in 2006

A new report published yesterday has quantified the effect of hospital infections and the numbers are not pretty. In 2006, 48,000 lives were lost due to infections acquired in hospitals. The financial cost of such infections were estimated to be $8.1 billion. These numbers are likely to rise and have a profound impact on the cost of healthcare in the United States.

“In many cases, these conditions could have been avoided with better infection control in hospitals,” said Ramanan Laxminarayan of Resources for the Future, a think tank that sponsored the study.

The study showed that infections acquired during hospital stays are a growing concern and a huge issue in controlling healthcare costs. The researchers found that a lapse in infection control can lead to prolonged hospital stays, serious complications, and death.