A new study suggests most hospital-acquired infections are the result of poor hospital procedures and are not caused by patient maladies.
The study by the Bethesda, Md.-based, American Journal of Medical Quality blames poor hygienic procedures by hospital staff members for the growing number of infections that afflict patients nationwide and cause thousands of deaths each year, The Washington Post reported.
"It's the process, not the patients," said David Nash, the journal's editor and chairman of the Department of Health Policy at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
Nash said physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals should do more to promote hand washing, take greater care in donning gowns and other infection-preventing clothing and use antibiotics more selectively.
And, Nash told the Post, patients should speak up more, even asking doctors and nurses, "Did you wash your hands?" before allowing themselves to be treated.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
Explore further: Seth Mnookin on vaccination and public health