Health Care Infections Rising In WV

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Infectious outbreaks caused by health care providers are increasing in the mountain state.

Last year, there were 111 outbreaks, affecting more than 29 hundred people.

The outbreaks can be attributed to problems with catheters, ventilators, and central lines.

In the valley, the health department is working with providers to make sure patients don't get sick on their account.

"Across the nation as a whole it is a problem. As far as our region in particular, health care associated infections have not been a huge issue. This past year we did see some health care associated influenza outbreaks. As far as the more serious infections, none have been reported to our health department this year," says Jessica Woods, Epidemiologist with the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department.

To prevent health care related infections, Woods says, it's all about educating both patients and health care providers.

"We provide education and we try to educate infection control personnel at the hospitals. We also reach out to health care providers by giving them information we receive from the state. As we also generate yearly reports so people can know the trends of what's going on."

Patients are encouraged to ask their providers to wash their hands. They can also ask if needles and other equipment are new or sterilized.

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