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Study: Half of infection deaths linked directly to hospital care

Wall Street Journal Health Blog, February 23, 2010

Sepsis and pneumonia, two infections that can often be prevented with tight infection control practices in hospitals, killed 48,000 patients and added $8.1 billion to healthcare costs in 2006 alone, according to a study. Researchers analyzed 69 million discharge records from hospitals in 40 states between 1998 and 2006. The study for the first time links about half of all infection deaths directly to infections acquired in the hospital in the course of care, the study's principal investigator told the Wall Street Journal Health Blog.