Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Silent Epidemic

Risk is the potential that a chosen action or activity (including the choice of inaction) will lead to a loss (an undesirable outcome). The notion implies that a choice having an influence on the outcome exists (or existed). Potential losses themselves may also be called "risks". Almost every human endeavor carries some risk, but some are much more risky than others.

And that's why I'll continue to say: STAY OUT OF THE HOSPITAL!

Of course, they'll be circumstances when being admitted to a hospital is beyond your control, but in many instances, by living a healthy lifestyle and being aware of, and avoiding unnecessary risks, a visit to the hospital can often be prevented.

Being admitted to a hospital carries a significant amount of risk.

Medical advances have brought lifesaving care to patients in need, yet many of those advances come with a risk of HAI. Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are infections that patients acquire during the course of receiving healthcare treatment for other conditions. These infections related to medical care can be devastating and even deadly.

A Silent Epidemic is about the many lives that have been impacted by hospital-acquired infections, as well as sepsis, and what can be done to bring an end to this silent epidemic. It is also not in any way an attack on the medical field; it is rather a calling to all people that there are a number of things that can be done to prevent HAIs if we work together.

Healthcare-Associated Infections: A Silent Epidemic from Emily Croke on Vimeo.


  1. Bad things happen in all hospitals, but they happen a lot in some. That's one of the conclusions of the Consumer Reports first ever Ratings of hospital safety.

    Source: Lowest-scoring hospitals in our new safety Ratings

  2. It's long been known that medical errors are a major problem — a national panel concluded (pdf) more than a decade ago that nearly 100,000 people die each year as a result of errors in hospitals.

    Despite the resulting national focus on patient safety, patients continue to be harmed and killed by medical shortcuts, inadequate training and breakdowns in communication.

    Source: Why Can’t Medicine Seem to Fix Simple Mistakes?

  3. Medical errors can occur anywhere in the health care system: In hospitals, clinics, surgery centers, doctors' offices, nursing homes, pharmacies, and patients' homes. Errors can involve medicines, surgery, diagnosis, equipment, or lab reports. These tips tell what you can do to get safer care.

    Source: AHRQ | 20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors | Patient Fact Sheet

  4. Untreatable and hard-to-treat infections from CRE germs are on the rise among patients in medical facilities. CRE germs have become resistant to all or nearly all the antibiotics we have today. Types of CRE include KPC and NDM.

    By following CDC guidelines, we can halt CRE infections before they become widespread in hospitals and other medical facilities and potentially spread to otherwise healthy people outside of medical facilities.

    Source: CDC Vital Signs: March 2013 - Making Health Care Safer, Stop Infections from Lethal CRE Germs Now

  5. It seems as though the old standard of 100,000 hospital deaths due to errors was a little on the low side. According to this new study, it's 2-4 times worse than previously thought. Like I said, do whatever you can do to be safe, to stay healthy, and to stay out of the hospital.

    "Using a weighted average of the 4 studies, a lower limit of 210,000 deaths per year was associated with preventable harm in hospitals. Given limitations in the search capability of the Global Trigger Tool and the incompleteness of medical records on which the Tool depends, the true number of premature deaths associated with preventable harm to patients was estimated at more than 400,000 per year. Serious harm seems to be 10- to 20-fold more common than lethal harm."

    Source: A New, Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care

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