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Consumer Reports Health News
Date:10/30/2007

cterial infections. The report provides several recommendations for consumers to guard against infections.

CU URGES HOSPITALS TO "COME CLEAN"

A new study by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly 19,000 Americans died in 2005 from a virulent, antibiotic-resistant infection acquired mostly in hospitals. The study concluded that almost 95,000 people developed Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections that year, and that 85 percent of the infections were acquired in health care settings. The findings underscore the need for hospitals to improve patient care and for Congress to require public reporting of patient infection rates, according to Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports. Last week, CU urged hospitals to disclose their handwashing compliance rates. "Every day, fifty Americans die from MRSA because hospitals aren't doing enough to protect patients from these deadly infections," said Lisa McGiffert, Director of Consumers Union's Stop Hospital Infections campaign (http://www.StopHospitalInfections.org). "The public deserves to know which hospitals are doing a good job preventing infections and keeping patients safe."

Numerous studies have documented that hand hygiene compliance rates in most hospitals are unacceptably low - usually below 50 percent. That means, on average, doctors and other healthcare workers are failing to wash their hands properly with over half of their patients. According to the CDC, hospital acquired infections result in up to $27.5 billion in additional hospital-related expenses annually.

GRASS FED BEEF: WHAT IT MEANS

New government standards for the "Grass-fed" label on meat (but not poultry) will go into effect on November 15, 2007. "Grassfed" cattle will be considered "grassfed" if they get 99 percent of their total calories from grass and they may
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SOURCE Consumer Reports
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