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Study finds catheter infections stoppable

Detroit Free Press, January 3, 2008
Urinary catheter infections account for 40 percent of all hospital infections, but U.S. hospitals do not have strategies in place to minimize them, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Michigan. Catheters are used on one in four patients, often after surgery, but as many as one third of the days in which patients have the devices are medically unnecessary, the study said. Infections from the devices are the most common type of infections acquired in hospitals. In July Medicare stopped paying for care of urinary tract infections acquired while hospitalized. The study provides the first national examination of hospital prevention strategies at 119 Veterans Affairs and 600 nonfederal hospitals, conducted in 2005.