Last month, a 46-year-old military veteran in Houston died of pancreatitis, an urgent but treatable condition, while waiting to be admitted to a hospital overwhelmed with unvaccinated Covid patients. Last week, the governor of Hawaii signed an executive order releasing the state's hospitals from liability if they turn away sick patients because they have no room. On Monday, the Idaho state health department declared "crisis standards of care," a triage system that allows hospitals with no spare beds to decide which patients they will accept. Simultaneously, a Florida high school teacher went viral after describing how he took his 12-year-old to an emergency room that turned out to be overwhelmed with Covid patients. They waited six hours, while his child's appendix ruptured, a potentially life-threatening event.
An infection linked to pigeon droppings was a "contributing factor" in the death of a child at a Glasgow hospital, it has been confirmed. Scotland's health secretary ordered a review of the design of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital after the deaths of two patients. The hospital has put infection control measures in place, and officials insist it is safe for patients and visitors. Jeane Freeman said there was an "absolute focus on patient safety". At the weekend, it emerged that two patients who had died at the hospital had contracted a cryptococcal fungal infection which is linked to pigeon droppings.
The Department of Health and Human Services collects annual data about surgical site infections, bloodstream infections associated with central lines and urinary tract infections associated with catheters. The latest report, released Friday, shows a total of 183 infections, compared to 202 in 2016 and 200 the year before that. Officials said the number of bloodstream infections and surgical site infections were lower than predicted, but the number associated with urinary tract infections was higher than predicted.
After complaints that the state is doing little to stop deadly hospital outbreaks, the California Department of Public Health said this week that it would prioritize inspections at those facilities with high rates of patient infections. The state disclosed the changes in a Tuesday letter to Consumers Union. The national nonprofit group had filed a petition with the state early this year listing scores of hospitals with abnormally high infection rates that had not been inspected in five years. On Wednesday, Consumers Union called the state's response "an important first step" that still did not go far enough to protect the public. "For too long, the state has relied on voluntary efforts by hospitals to lower infection rates, and that clearly hasn't been working," said Lisa McGiffert, who directs the group's Safe Patient Project.