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The Compelling Case for Reducing Hospital Infections

Thursday March 2005


Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D. Founder, Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths

Each year in the U.S. two million patients contract infections in the hospital. An estimated 103,000 die as a result. Hospital infections cause as many deaths in this country as AIDS, breast cancer, and auto accidents combined. Treating these infections adds about $28 billion to the nation’s yearly hospital costs.

These infections are largely preventable. A few hospitals in other cities and countries are proving it. Their results demonstrate that infection prevention saves lives, reduces medical costs, and even helps return failing hospitals to financial health.

Betsy McCaughey, founder of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths, will offer a wealth of lessons for New York—the hospital capital of the nation—and show why hygiene must be made a central part of medical care and medical education, as it was thirty years ago, before reliance on antibiotics replaced cleanliness.