Over two million Americans develop hospital infections every year, and 90,000 patients die each year from these hospital infections
. That's more people dying from hospital acquired infections than from homicides and auto accidents combined!
And now, a virulent "super bug" spreading in our hospitals poses a deadly risk to patients and is driving up the cost of hospital care. Most common antibiotics can't cure methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections. People who develop them while in the hospital often suffer for years with additional hospitalizations and surgeries.
Most U.S. hospitals have not yet implemented effective strategies to curb MRSA infections -- but they will if the public demands action.
Directed by your Governor, your state health department can assess each hospital's prevention program and then let the public know which hospitals are taking this deadly epidemic seriously. Sign our petition to tell your Governor to make stopping deadly hospital infections a priority!
But it can be stopped. Hospitals have significantly reduced MRSA by using "active surveillance," in which patients are screened for MRSA so the bacteria can be eliminated and so hospital staff can use appropriate precautions to prevent the MRSA from spreading to other patients. If we don't check to see if a patient is colonized, we can't treat it and we can't prevent its spread.
Based on success in decreasing MRSA in Pennsylvania VA hospitals, in January, the VA directed all Veterans Hospitals in the US to screen ICU and other at-risk patients for MRSA by using nasal swabs to test patients for the bacteria and isolating those carrying it. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center reduced MRSA infections by 80 percent by using active surveillance in selected intensive care units.
All hospitals should be using "active surveillance," which has been validated by more than 100 studies around the world as an effective prevention technique. The CDC and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology in America have issued guidelines that describe the procedures for "active surveillance." Most hospitals are familiar with these yet few choose to use them.
We are asking you to direct our state health agency to survey all hospitals to find out which ones are using active surveillance to prevent MRSA. We are asking for that information to be provided to the state legislature in a public report. We have a right to know which hospitals are using these successful evidence-based techniques.
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