If you have had a loved one pass away while hospitalized you probably felt shocked and confused. After all, hospitals are supposed to make people better, not let them die.
But as it turns out, there are some conditions that hospitals aren't very effective at treating, including blood infections. According to a recently-issued study, about half of patients who die in hospitals have a blood infection, also known as sepsis.
The death rate among patients with sepsis is very high considering that only about 10 percent of patients in hospitals in the United States have it. This amounts to about 750,000 patients in the U.S. each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study used data from 6.5 million hospitalizations throughout the U.S. in 2010 and found that while the overall average death rate among U.S. hospital patients was just about 1 percent, the death rate for patients with blood infections was over 10 percent.
Additionally, the death rate for hospital patients with sepsis appears to be on the rise while the overall hospitalization rate has fallen over the past decade. The CDC reported that deaths among patients with sepsis increased by 17 percent from 2000 to 2010, from 45,000 deaths to 135,000 deaths during that time.
The study's authors also pointed out that blood infections are one of the most expensive conditions to treat, and concluded that hospitals need to improve the way they handle sepsis cases of all severity levels.
While we are lucky to have advanced medical treatment options in the United States, there are still many improvements needed, as this study clearly points out.
Anyone who has been informed that their loved one has died while being treated at a hospital likely has questions about what went wrong and whether their loved one's life could have been saved.
An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help family members explore these questions and eventually hold hospitals accountable for their negligent actions, if possible.
Source: HealthDay,Blood Infections Play Role in Up to Half of Hospital Deaths: Study May 19, 2014