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Patient, protect thyself

Every year, 1.7 million people contract infections while hospitalized. Officials are fighting the problem, but there are things patients should know to avoid getting sicker.

How patients and their relatives ask questions is as important as what they ask, said Dr. Ron Goodspeed, president of the Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors. How patients and their relatives ask questions is as important as what they ask, said Dr. Ron Goodspeed, president of the Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors. (JONATHAN WIGGS/GLOBE STAFF)
By Stephen Smith
August 27, 2007

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Everybody, it seems, has a story to tell when it comes to infections transmitted in hospitals -- stories of bad decisions, missed opportunities, even death. With an estimated 90,000 US patients dying each year from germs they catch after surgery or while tethered to a breathing machine, government agencies and hospitals are confronting healthcare-associated infections with unprecedented speed and determination. (Full article: 990 words)

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