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Georgia Hospitals Show Cause for Alarm in Infection Rates

While the rates of hospital-borne infections are dropping across the United States, they still remain a significant problem. Moreover, the decreases in rate of infection are not uniform across the board. Some states are lagging behind in the fight against hospital infections, and unfortunately Georgia may be among them.

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that Georgia’s hospitals were decreasing their rates of infection at a significantly slower pace than the rest of the United States. This was especially true in the area of certain bloodstream infections:

  • Between 2008 and 2012, Georgia hospitals experienced a decrease three points less than the national average in site infections following colon surgery.
  • Georgia’s decrease in infections after abdominal operations was two points under the national average.
  • Georgia’s decrease in infections involving neck and chest tubes lagged far behind with only a 33 percent decrease to the rest of the nation’s 44 percent.

This is not the first time such concerns have been raised. In 2012, it was reported that seven prominent Georgia hospitals had failed to meet national benchmarks in their rates of bloodstream infections among patients. Fourth of these were in the Atlanta area. One Georgia hospital showed a bloodstream infection rate that was twice the national average.

While seven hospitals performed poorly, many other Georgia facilities beat national benchmarks handily. This just goes to show that hospitals can indeed improve the health of their patients through good infection control practices. If you or a loved one has suffered serious or permanent effects from an in-hospital infection, it may be wise to have your case reviewed by an experienced medical negligence lawyer.