Consumers Union report notes that surgical infection prevention efforts falling short

A new report released by Consumers Union found that hospitals have made progress following certain surgical infection prevention practices, but that many patients aren’t getting the right care needed to keep them safe.


For the report, researchers analyzed data on CMS’s Hospital Compare website to determine how well hospitals followed three infection prevention practices—administering an antibiotic within one hour before surgery begins, giving the most appropriate antibiotic to surgical patients, and stopping antibiotic use within 24 hours after surgery ends—between July 1, 2007, and June 30, 2008. According to Consumers Union, at least 100,000 patients were left vulnerable to developing surgical infections during the year studied because hospitals failed to follow practices proven to reduce the risk of infection. Consumers Union found that 445 hospitals across the country were in low compliance of following a critical infection prevention measure.


Click here for the Consumers Union press release.


(SOURCES: Consumer Union,, accessed April 30, 2009; Advisory Board Daily Briefing,, April 29, 2009)