by Jonathan Kolber
It’s a shocking fact: 90,000 people die in U.S. hospitals each year from infections received inside the hospital. They come to be healed, but instead are killed.
This problem is so prevalent that doctors even have a name for it: iatrogenic disease.
According to the American Iatrogenic Association (yes, it’s that bad), a recent presidential task force called this a “national problem of epidemic proportions.” The estimated costs associated with this are $29 billion annually.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 2 million people annually acquire infections while hospitalized – the 90,000 who die just happen to be the unluckiest of the bunch.
Let’s not be too quick to blame the doctors or hospitals for this. In most cases, they’re doing their best given what’s been available. Pathogens such as bacteria and viruses are surprisingly difficult to control.
Medical researchers are increasingly concerned about the emergence of “superbugs” resistant to commonly used antibiotics. These are significant contributors to those hospital deaths.
The fundamental problem is sterility. Despite all of the precautions taken in hospital environments, the reality is that trillions of disease organisms are introduced into a typical hospital every day. Infected people sneeze and cough, spraying organisms into the air. Outside air carries in whatever happens to be lurking in the vicinity.
It gets even worse when surgical procedures are involved. Normally, your skin provides a barrier against infection. That’s one of its primary functions, and it works in concert with your immune system to identify, isolate and destroy most pathogens before they can get a foothold.
Unfortunately, surgical procedures by their very nature open up the body’s inner tissues and organs to the outside environment. It’s unavoidable. The only way to prevent this would be to use “clean rooms” that go far beyond what’s affordable outside NASA and the computer chip industry.
What’s to be done?
Fortunately, one tiny company has the answer to safer surgical procedures – and it appears the FDA is about to grant it a whopping monopoly. This company has impressive management, healthy cash reserves, a wide array of issued patents and the perfect solution to sterilizing donated transplant tissue.