How hospitals could prevent thousands of central line infection deaths

Central line infections killed nearly 10,000 hospital patients in 2013, but hospitals could prevent nearly all such infections by following a simple checklist, according to Vox. The hospital industry's thinking on the problem is gradually changing, according to the article; some hospitals react to such issues the way the airline industry reacts to crashes, by making immediate, industry-wide changes after a single crash, while others react like the auto industry, waiting for a broader trend to emerge before devoting resources to prevention. For years all hospitals were "car crash" hospitals, according to Peter Pronovost, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University, but after a central line infection killed an 18-month-old burn victim in 2001, Pronovost said, he and colleagues created a five-step process involving proper hand-washing; sterilizing equipment; covering the patient completely with sterile drapes; cleaning the insertion site with chlorhexidine antiseptic solution; and removing catheters after they are no longer needed. Article

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