A comparison of surgical site infection rates in the United States with at least 30 other countries has some good news: hospitals in the United States seem to do a better job of controlling infection rates.
The bad news, however, is that most of the countries on the list that fare worse than the U.S. are part of the developing world. Performing better than countries with limited resources probably shouldn’t be considered a major accomplishment.
In the study published recently in the Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology Journal, researchers tracked surgical site infections for patients in 82 hospitals in 30 countries between January 2005 and December 2010. Those countries included Argentina, Brazil, Malaysia, Mexico, Lebanon, Columbia, Philippines, Salvador, Thailand, Turkey, Uruguay and Vietnam.
The study found that the rates of surgical site infections resulting in patient injuries were much higher in overseas hospitals, which reported their numbers to the International Nosocomial Infection Control Consortium, compared with American hospitals reporting statistics to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
When it came to hip prosthesis infections, the foreign hospitals reported a 2.6 percent rate, while American hospitals reported rates of 1.3 percent. Coronary bypass infection rates at the hospitals in other countries were approximately 4.5 percent, while the U.S. hospitals reporting data to the CDC reported rates of 2.9 percent for the same type of infections.
Abdominal hysterectomy surgery infection rates for foreign hospitals were at 12.9 percent compared with a rate of 2 percent at American hospitals, and ventricular shunt infection rates stood at 12.9 percent for foreign hospitals, compared with 5.6 percent for American hospitals.
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