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Hospitals Slow to Adopt Infection Prevention Program

Doctors insert into patients what is called a central line, which can be used to administer vital medications while monitoring various critical elements within the heart and blood.

But a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate shows that 250,000 patients with central lines contract blood stream infections every year, and more than 10 percent die as a result. The study, conducted in 2002, is the CDC's most current figure.

A doctor at Johns Hopkins University says these deaths can be eliminated — at virtually no extra cost and with little additional training. Moreover, a program exists that promises to do just that, but almost two years after its inception, only a fraction of hospitals choose to participate.

"In what other industry, would there be a known safety standard — and nobody's debating the evidence — that a failure to comply with kills people," Dr. Peter Pronovost, medical director for the Center for Innovation in Quality Patient Care at Johns Hopkins, told ABCNews.com
 
 

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