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Columbia study finds hospitals don't follow infection prevention rules
Date:2/6/2014

ur ICUs had checklists for protecting against infections linked to ventilators, machines that force air into the lungs when patients can't breathe on their own. The ICUs followed their own checklists just half the time. Keeping patients elevated in bed, with the head higher than the feet, is one simple precaution that can help prevent pneumonia.

Patients with urinary catheters fared even worse, the study found. Guidelines to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infections, or CAUTI, are newer, and there aren't universally accepted checklists to follow at the bedside. About one third of hospitals had no prevention polices in place to prevent these infections. Even at hospitals that did establish some guidelines, the measures were followed less than 30 percent of the time.

"We've come a long way in understanding what causes health care-associated infections and how to prevent them," Stone says. "This study shows we still have a long way to go in compliance with well-established, life-saving and cost-saving measures that we know will lower infection rates."


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Contact: Lisa Rapaport
lr2692@cumc.columbia.edu
212-342-3795
Columbia University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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