As many as 9,000 patients a year die from Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI) in California. This is a huge number but other causes of death are being cited on statistics and death certificate. If there are underlying reasons for the initial hospital visit these are often cited as the cause of death. This means the scale of HAI is not being recognised fully with potentially thousands of cases going unreported. Recognising the scale of an issue is vital to allow the correct resources to be allocated to tackle the issues. It is good to see the LA Times targeting this area,
An epidemic of hospital-acquired infections is going unreported, scientists have found. University of Michigan researchers reported in a 2014 study that infections – both those acquired inside and outside hospitals – would replace heart disease and cancer as the leading causes of death in hospitals if the count was performed by looking at patients’ medical billing records, which show what they were being treated for, rather than death certificates.