US Hospital Infections Now Kill More Than AIDS, Breast Cancer, Traffic Accidents Combined: Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths Calls Upon Hospitals to Release Infection Rates.

Share Article

Every five minutes, an otherwise healthy American dies from an infection contracted in a hospital, more than AIDS, breast cancer and car accidents combined. These infections are largely preventable, and result from doctors and hospital staff not washing hands and improper cleaning and use of hospital equipment. Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths calls upon hospitals to release infection rates to consumers. - Before this year is through, the fourth largest killer of Americans will claim over 100,000 lives. The numbers are startling, exceeding those killed each year by AIDS, breast cancer, and traffic accidents combined.    

A global pandemic? A new super-virus? No. Deadly hospital infections contracted by otherwise healthy individuals while hospitalized for even the most routine procedures.

Compounding this tragic loss of life is the conclusion by leading physicians and health policy experts that many hospital infections are easily prevented through adherence to basic hygienic practices such as washing hands and proper cleaning and use of medical equipment.

“It is a tragic irony that each year an estimated 103,000 Americans – about one every five minutes – die from an infection contracted in the one place they should feel safest,” says Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D., founder and chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths, or RID.

“Unlike other diseases, the cures for which either elude us or cost tens of thousands of dollars, many hospital infections can be prevented by following simple and low-cost practices such as washing hands.” McCaughey said.

Hospital Infections at a Glance:

The Cost – Unacceptable

·    Fourth largest killer of Americans - an estimated 103,000 each year.

·    More than AIDS, car accidents and breast cancer combined.

·    Hospital acquired infections cost society billions of dollars each year.

·    A serious bloodstream infection can ad an estimated $57,000 to a patient’s bill.

·    Taking steps to reduce infections saves hospitals money.

The Cause – Poor Hygiene

·    Failure by doctors and hospital staff to follow basic hygienic procedures such as washing hands between patient visits and proper cleaning and use of equipment.

·    Hospitals in Pittsburgh and other cities have dramatically reduced the number of infections by enforcing strict hygienic standards…and saved money in the process.

The Solution - Public Pressure on Hospitals to Clean Up and Come Clean

·    Clean up by having all hospital employees follow basic hygienic procedures such as washing hands between patient visits

·    Come clean by publicly disclosing infection rates.

·    Patients can also take simple steps to reduce their risk of hospital infections.

Protect Yourself from Hospital Infections:

Hospital Infection Facts:

Media Contact: To arrange interviews with Dr. McCaughey or family members who have lost loved ones to hospital infections contact Adam Dubitsky at 202-965-4223, or email

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print