THOUSANDS OF HOSPITAL DEATHS BECAUSE OF DIRTY HANDS OF DOCTORS AND NURSES. I have posted a number of times (for example, here in 2007) about efforts in the last few years to reduce hospital infections by getting doctors and nurses to wash their hands. This article in the Wall Street Journal (April 27) by Robert Lee Hotz recounts, with drawings, the variety of places in hospitals that can harbor germs and the many varieties of those germs.
Hotz gives an idea of the magnitude of the problem of germs in hospitals even after years of effort. At any one time about 4% of hospital patients are suffering from an infection they have contracted while in the hospital. Infections acquired in a hospital kill 75,000 people a year in the US.
The shocking sentence in the Hotz article: “More than a third of hospital infections are caused by nurses and doctors who don’t wash their hands properly after a patient examination.”—which would suggest that over 25,000 deaths a year still result from doctors and nurses not properly washing their hands.