PA hospitals have higher blood infection rates

Pennsylvania hospitals received a report card from the state's Health Care Cost Containment Council this week, which suggested that some of the state's hospitals have work to do when it comes to controlling mortality from septicemia. Blood stream infections are on the rise in Pennsylvania, killing more than 4,200 patients last year. This is a 53 percent climb from 2003, according to state records.

The report from the Council examined 31 conditions and treatments, including heart attacks, strokes, prostate surgery and hysterectomies. Septicemia was the most prominent killer found in the report, however. Hospitals named as having higher-than-expected levels include St. Mary Medical Center, Crozer-Chester Medical Center, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University Hospital.

Hospitals had varied reactions to the news. One administrator, U of Pennsylvania chief medical officer P.J. Brennan, said the key to lowering mortality rates will be to identify such infections sooner in the process of care and to time antibiotic doses properly.

To learn more about Pennsylvania hospitals' infection issues:
-read this piece in the Philadelphia Daily News

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