Whither Hospitals: Nosocomial Infections

By | April 11, 2012

You can think of hospitals as a sort of living culture medium for resistant bacteria and a reservoir for infection.

As Howard Luks pointed out in his blog entitled “Why your local hospital may not be relevant in the future”, which appeared on Kevin Pho’s website earlier this week, hospitals are dangerous places.  At Schlesinger  Pain Centers we are aware of this problem, but it is not just because of medical errors. One of the biggest dangers is the risk of nosocomial infections. These are infections caused by hospital-bred bacteria and they are usually more virulent and harder to treat than normal infections. To begin with, hospitals by their very nature concentrate patients with infectious diseases. Secondly, the powerful antibiotics used in hospitals are an evolutionary force, which favors the development of resistant strains. Thirdly, given the weakened state of most hospitalized patients, they are excellent reservoirs of infection, a sort of living culture medium. Fourthly, with the increased economic pressures on hospitals nowadays, cleaning budgets have been cut. Add to this the unsuspecting cancer patient or postoperative patient and you have a recipe for disaster.  All of this leads us again to the question of “Whither hospitals?”

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