Hospital -acquired infections are the leading cause of potentially preventable mortality among pediatric patients, according to a study of pediatric patient-safety incidents issued today by HealthGrades, the leading independent health care ratings organization. The study utilized eight patient-safety indicators developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to analyze the prevalence of patient-safety events at hospitals as well as to identify hospitals that performed above average. Examining all hospitals in the 19 states that make data publicly available, the first annual HealthGrades Pediatric Patient Safety in American Hospitals Study analyzed five million pediatric patient records over the years 2006, 2007 and 2008 and identified 25,367 patient-safety events and 1,465 potentially preventable inhospital deaths. Of the deaths, 70.44% were associated with hospital-acquired infections (postoperative sepsis and central venous catheter-related infections). Pediatric patient-safety incidents in the following eight categories were studied:
The four pediatric patient-safety incidents showing the highest rates per 1,000 patients were postoperative sepsis (24.05), postoperative respiratory failure (18.62), pressure ulcers (3.72) and central venous catheter-related infections (2.41).Of the eight pediatric patient-safety incidents examined, four indicators showed improvement over the three years studied, while four worsened. Those showing improvement were central venous catheter-related infections, postoperative hemorrhage or hematoma, postoperative respiratory failure, and postoperative wound dehiscence. The other four incidents showed a rise in incidence levels. The 19 state governments that make pediatric patient records available for analysis are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. The complete methodology and study can be found at www.healthgrades.com. About HealthGrades Health Grades, Inc. (Nasdaq: HGRD) is the leading independent health care ratings organization, providing quality ratings, profiles and cost information on the nation’s hospitals, physicians, nursing homes and prescription drugs. Millions of patients and many of the nation’s largest employers, health plans and hospitals rely on HealthGrades’ quality ratings, advisory services and decision-support resources. The HealthGrades Network of websites, including HealthGrades.com and WrongDiagnosis.com, is a top-five health property according to ComScore and is the Internet's leading destination for patients choosing providers. More information on how HealthGrades guides America to better health care can be found at www.healthgrades.com.