How Safe Are You in Hospitals?

Hospital Safety

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How Safe Are You in Hospitals?

Preventable hospital errors lead to the death of 50 people every hour in America.[1]

That’s 1200 deaths a day
8400 deaths a week
And close to 34,000 deaths a month

In Comparison:
Twice as many people die of preventable hospital errors weekly as the servicemen that died throughout the entire Iraq war.

With many preventable deaths occurring due to:
Medication Errors
Drug Resistant illnesses

Over 300,000 falls occur in medical units yearly[4]
Particularly among the elderly
With 82,000 leading to injury.
Often compounding risk by keeping patients hospitalized longer.

[5] 7,000 deaths occur yearly through medication errors
Contributing factors:
1.) Information
1a.) Communication errors
1b.) Drug labeling errors
2.) Environmental
2a.) Inadequate Lighting
2b.) Cluttered Work space
2c.) Distractions and interruptions
2d.) Fatigue

About 1/4th of preventable deaths come from hospital-acquired infections[2]

Most commonly through:

Central line-associated bloodstream infections
Catheter-associated urinary tract infections
Surgical site infections after surgery
Clostridium difficile infections (type of bacteria)

With 1/25 patients contracting hospital-acquired infections.
And 1/10 of those who contract dying from illnesses.

Or 75,000 deaths
From 722,000 patients who contracted infections in acute care hospitals

Including the scariest culprits:

Legionnaire’s disease–a severe form of pneumonia
–Spreads: through inhalation
–Most at risk: Older adults, smokers and people with weakened immune systems

Enterovirus D-68:Related to Polio and hand-foot-and-mouth disease potentially leading to limb paralysis.

–Spreads: like the common cold
Ebola: Very fatal illness including vomiting, diarrhea, rash, limited kidney and liver function, and internal and external bleeding.
–Spreads: through direct contact including broken skin, mucous membranes, blood, semen, or contact with contaminated surfaces.
Staph (MRSA)–the overuse of antibiotics often renders illnesses immune to treatment, forcing second or third tier treatments or removal of tissue.

Over 2 million people a year are infected with drug resistant bacteria.
20,000 of which die.
Out of 80,000 MRSA cases
11,000 die.

Influenza and Pneumonia: Flu is the 7th deadliest illness in the US and can develop into pneumonia, a much deadlier illness particularly for older patients.
Spreads:airborne or personal contact

Measles: this extremely infectious disease has resurfaced over recent years, leading to fever, rashes, coughing, discomfort, and a series of potential complications
Spreads: airborne, body to body.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus: Almost every baby catches RSV, but there is no vaccine, and under the right circumstances it can lead to pneumonia.
Spreads: airborne, surfaces

But prevention techniques exist…


Hand Washing
Surface sanitation
Antimicrobial surfaces

And hospitals offer a wide range of safety records.[9]
Safe hospitals=
lower risk of readmission, mortality, hospital acquired infections, and bad communication on medications and discharge

10 Safest Hospitals

1. Miles Memorial Hospital, Damariscotta, Maine
2. Oaklawn Hospital, Marshall, Michigan
3. Aurora Medical Center of Oshkosh, Wisconsin
4. Lutheran Hospital of Cleveland, Ohio
5. Palm Drive Hospital, Sebastopol, California
6.Marshalltown Medical and Surgical Center, Marshalltown, Iowa
7. Hillside Hospital, Pulaski, Tennessee
8. Margaret R. Pardee Memorial Hospital, Hendersonville, North Carolina
9. Spectrum Health United Hospital, Greenville, Michigan
10. St. John Medical Center, Westlake, Ohio

10 Least Safe Hospitals

1. Bolivar Medical Center, Cleveland, Mississippi
2. Tulane Medical Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
3. Harris Hospital, Newport, Arkansas
4. Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital, Somerset, Kentucky
5. Delta Regional Medical Center, Greenville, Mississippi
6. Beckley ARH Hospital, Beckley, West Virginia
7. Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare, Utica, New York
8. Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center, Poplar, Missouri
9. Kings County Hospital Center, Brooklyn, New York
10. Ayovelles Hospital, Marksville, Louisiana