Hospital-acquired infections continue to be a big problem in health care. Gwen Borlaug is the hospital-acquired infections coordinator with the state Division of Public Health. She said the Centers for Disease Control have found that Wisconsin has greatly reduced some types of these infections. “When it comes to certain surgical site infections however, we have not made as much progress as we would like,” she said. “That’s true in Wisconsin, as well as across the country.”
Nationally, the CDC found four percent of patients getting a new infection while hospitalized, and 11 percent of those infections turn deadly. That translates to more than 70,000 deaths a year. In Wisconsin, Borlaug said they’ll be kicking off a prevention effort with a summit in Wausau on Thursday. “This is going to be the start of our collaborative efforts,” Borlaug said. “We really want as many hospitals there as possible, so we’re laying down that challenge.” So far 53 hospitals and 10 outpatient surgical centers have signed up.