Hospital infections go down a little

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By Maggie Fox

American hospitals may have made a little progress in fighting one of the biggest problems threatening patients: infections they get while in the hospital.

A new survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the rate of hospital acquired infections has gone down a little bit.

“We see things going in the right direction,” said Dr. Shelley Magill, who led the CDC study team.

In 2011, when the CDC last did a survey, about 4 percent of patients got an infection in the hospital. Now that number is down to 3.2 percent, the CDC team reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“Patients’ risk of having a healthcare associated infection was 16 percent lower in 2015 than in 2011,” the CDC-led team wrote.

The numbers are still enormous. That 4 percent of hospitalized patients with a healthcare associated infection extrapolated to 648,000 patients across the country in 2011.

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