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Hospitals still risky places for patients in Georgia

It's never great to wind up in the hospital. However, winding up in the hospital in Georgia could be downright lethal.

Georgia's hospitals rank last when it comes to keeping patients safe from hospital-acquired infections. This would include:

  • infections in the bloodstream due to central care lines in veins for IV care
  • methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is a bacterial infection that's difficult to treat
  • catheter-caused infections of the urinary tract

Any of these infections could make a well person extremely sick. If acquired by a person that's already on shaky medical ground, they could be lethal.

The infections are so common among patients in Georgia's hospitals that it is estimated that 1 out of every 25 ended up with one. In 2011 alone, 722,000 people were infected with something they got while in the hospital. Around 75,000 of those infected actually died. Of those who get bloodstream infections from central vein lines, one out of four may die.

It's already been abundantly established that many of these hospital-acquired infections are generally preventable. However, preventing them requires a combination of staff education, adherence to safety and cleanliness protocols and a zero-tolerance policy for mistakes.

According to the latest research, certain hospitals in the state have improved to the point where they're among the most highly-regarded in the country. Others, however, are so bad that they're dragging the entire state's score to the bottom.

For patients in Georgia who need critical care, luck and location may literally determine whether or not they live or die.

Anyone who has been the victim of an infection acquired during surgery or other inpatient care at a hospital should consider seeking legal advice regarding a medical malpractice claim.

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Georgia patients still at risk from hospital-acquired infections," Carrie Teegardin, Dec. 25, 2017

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