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New study: Low vitamin D increases risk of hospital-acquired bloodstream infections

Posted on: August 20, 2013   by  John Cannell, MD

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One of the many bad things that may happen to you in the hospital is a blood infection. It is assumed to be a hospital acquired infection because the blood cultures were positive more than 48 hours after the doctors hospitalized you, meaning it is unlikely you had the infection on admission.

Also called nosocomial infections, the most common nosocomial infections in descending order of frequency are catheter related urinary tract infections, surgical site infections, pneumonias, and hospital-acquired bloodstream infections (HABSIs). Although HABSIs account for only about 12% of all nosocomial infections, they account for a much greater share of length of stay, cost, and death than other nosocomial infection. The CDC estimates 1.7 million nosocomial infections occur every year in the US, with 99,000 deaths associated with those infections.

Associate Professor Sadeq Quraishi (who is a board member of the Vitamin D Council) and colleagues, working under senior author Doctor Kenneth Christopher, all of Harvard, may have found a way to cut those infections in half.

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