Hospital-Acquired Infections by the Numbers

Here are some statistics on hospital-acquired infections in U.S. hospitals, according to research cited by " Overlooked and Under-Protected," a white paper on HAIs developed by TeleTracking Technologies.

Based on the current infection rate, the average 500-bed hospital sees 194 unnecessary deaths a year. Nearly one in five patients infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus auerus die from it, a toll greater than deaths from AIDS.

Costs. HAIs cost hospitals up to $45 billion a year and the average hospital incurs $28 million in unnecessary costs per year due to HAIs. Surgical-site MRSA infections alone cost as much as $60,000 per case, and the average case costs $15,275.

Litigation. The typical hospital is the target of seven HAI-related lawsuits per year with an average settlement of $1.5 million, for a total of $10.5 million per hospital. Now that 27 states require hospitals to report incidence of HAIs, the number of awards is expected to rise.

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