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Legal news for personal injury attorneys. Two new studies suggest hospitals can prevent many infections acquired after surgery.

Personal injury attorneys alerts- Two studies revealed hospitals can prevent infections after surgery.

West Palm Beach, FL—Two recent studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday, January 7, 2010, revealed that the hundreds of thousands of patients every year receive infections after surgery, which could have been prevented by using simple procedures. Experts stated more than half of the infections received after surgery come from bacteria, which is carried on the patients themselves in their nose or skin, which is otherwise harmless, except when it enters through incisions during surgery, as reported by the New York Times.

The preventable infections can lead to expensive treatments, slow recovery, or even death among patients who are infected. According to the two studies, hospitals can prevent the development infections on patients who are preparing to undergo surgery by methods of screening, scrubbing, or pretreating the patients, which many hospitals do not do. Surgery incision infections and around the incision infections affect over 300,000 patients a year across the nation.

The studies focused on the bacteria that the patients might have carried into the hospital before surgery, especially a common bacterium, staphylococcus aureus, in which one third of people carry on their skin. Under the study, “They treated about 500 who carried the bacteria for five days with an antibiotic ointment on their noses and showers with soap treated with chlorhexidine, an antiseptic. After surgery, which sometimes occurred during the five-day treatment, those patients were 60 percent less likely to develop infections than patients receiving a placebo of ointment and soap.” The study only used patients who where hospitalized for at least five days after receiving surgery.

In addition, the study found that patients who received the standard disinfectant, povidone-iodine, had a much higher chance to develop infections. Those patients who were disinfected with the alternative, chlorhexidine-alcohol, reported 40 percent fewer total infections, and received half as many staphylococcus aureus infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) http://www.cdc.gov/ reportedly recommended chlorhexidine-alcohol over ten years ago. Majority of hospitals still use the iodine solution to disinfect mostly because “we’ve always done it this way.”

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for personal injury lawyers.

About the Author Nicole