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Study Finds Higher Infection Rates in Pediatric ICU’s

Posted on April 25, 2012

Having a child in a hospital Intensive Care Unit (ICU) can be a frightening enough ordeal, but now an investigation by Consumer Reports has found there is even more reason to be worried. According to the report from the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center, pediatric ICU’s often have higher infection rates than adult ICU’s — on average 20 percent higher.

The investigation focused on 92 pediatric ICU’s in 31 states. What it found was that the deadliest of infections were introduced through central line catheters, which deliver nutrition, medication, and fluids to critically ill patients. If doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff don’t insert the catheters using absolutely sterile techniques or if the catheters aren’t kept scrupulously clean, infections can be introduced and can quickly spread throughout the body.

What the investigation also showed was that if due diligence is paid by health care professionals, these infections are entirely preventable. Five pediatric ICU’s received Consumer Reports’ highest rating because they reported zero bloodstream infections in 2010, whereas, the two worst rated hospitals in the study reported rates that were more than twice the national average.

The investigation concluded that hospitals could be doing a much better job at preventing infections. The ultimate goal of zero infections is especially important for pediatric ICU’s because young children have less-developed immune systems and are much more susceptible to bacterial infections.

Of the three hospitals rated in Florida, one received an above average rating and two received below average ratings.

If proper procedures are followed, hospital-acquired infections are entirely preventable. This is especially important when it comes to children. The Florida hospital negligence attorneys at Farah & Farah want you to know that if your child has been harmed due to medical negligence, we will see that the responsible parties are held liable. Call us at (800) 533-3555 for a free consultation today.