While the debate rages over medical marijuana in America, approximately 200 Americans die daily in U.S. hospitals, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC report found that preventable healthcare-associated infections in hospitals kill 75,000 patients per year, reports AFP.

Most of these fatal infections could be easily avoided if only healthcare professionals simply practiced common hygiene, says the report, which surveyed 181 hospitals in 2011.

The study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found 721,800 infections happened in 648,000 hospital patients.

"The most advanced medical care won't work if clinicians don't prevent infections through basic things such as regular hand hygiene," said CDC Director Tom Frieden in a statement.

"It's sobering to realize that despite all those efforts we still have this level of problem," Dr. Brad Spielberg, of the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, told NPR. "And it won't be an easy fix. If we depend on changing human behavior as the only implementation tool to prevent infections, we're going to plateau."

While the U.S. medical community is not open to publishing all information about infections, people can get some information about infection rates in specific hospitals at Medicare.gov.

Sources: AFP, NPR, Medicare.gov


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