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Baxter's V-Link Luer-Activated Device With VitalShield Protective Coating Now Available For Hospitals
Date:4/9/2008

U.S. alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in 2007 that MRSA infections cause an estimated 18,650 deaths per year in the U.S., which is more deaths in the U.S. per year than HIV/AIDS. As of October of this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will no longer reimburse U.S. hospitals for costs associated with bloodstream infections acquired in their hospitals.

Last month, the Public Health Agency of Canada released findings from a new report that showed the rate of people carrying MRSA has doubled in the past five years, and researchers estimate this has led to an estimated increase of $200-$250 million in related healthcare costs. According to the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program, an estimated 220,000 Canadians develop healthcare-associated infections each year, leading to approximately 8,000 deaths annually -- more deaths than automobile accidents and breast cancer combined.

There are several types of healthcare-associated infections -- of these, bloodstream infections are the most costly and life-threatening, resulting in an average increase in mortality rate of 18 percent when compared to patients without a bloodstream infection. According to U.S. estimates, healthcare- associated bloodstream infections cost an average of $34,000 in increased direct hospital costs and can increase patient length-of-stays by 23 days.

Many hospitals and other healthcare facilities have developed extensive control programs to prevent the occurrence of infections. Even when clinicians in hospitals do their best to practice good hygiene techniques, the risk of pathogen contamination may still persist.

About Medication Delivery

For more than 75 years, Baxter has pioneered products designed to help reduce errors throughout the medication management process by improving the interface between technology and clinicians. For example, to help prevent accidental needle-stick injuries, Baxter in
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SOURCE Baxter Healthcare Corporation
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