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Hospitals Are The 4th Leading Cause of Death in U.S. July 25, 2002 - 4:38 AM | Category: Cardiovascular Conditions | Contact the author here.
The Chicago Tribune's analysis, which adopted methods commonly used by epidemiologists, found an estimated 103,000 deaths linked to hospital infections in 2000. This is right behind heart disease, cancer and stroke.
The Tribune examined federal health inspection reports and other public documents from 2000--the latest year health-care records were available nationally--to estimate that 75,000 of the deadly hospital infections took place in conditions that were preventable. Deaths were considered preventable if patients contracted infections that were spread as the result of deficiencies documented by state, federal or health-care investigators.
"The number of people needlessly killed by hospital infections is unbelievable, but the public doesn't know anything about it." -- Dr. Barry Farr, president of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.
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