The deadly toll of hospital acquired infections
It's the biggest tragedy no one's talking about, killing nearly twice as many people as car accidents.
It's deadlier than diabetes... deadlier than the flu... yet it never makes the 6 o'clock news.
Every day, some 200 Americans are killed by infections that were given to them by their so-called medical "care" -- infections acquired from hospitals, outpatient facilities and nursing homes.
All told, some 720,000 Americans get hospital-acquired infections every year, and close to 75,000 die from them, according to sickening new numbers in the New England Journal of Medicine.
This is carelessness, plain and simple, because these infections are caused by dirty catheters and tubes, unclean medical equipment, filthy rooms and even the unwashed hands of doctors and nurses who should know better.
What makes this so much worse is that many of the victims, despite being in a hospital or other care facility, weren't at death's door already.
No, most of them were largely healthy people -- people who went into the hospital for a routine procedure, like a knee replacement, and then found themselves battling an untreatable form of pneumonia or a rare and deadly bloodstream infection.
Since hospitals often don't protect their patients, it's up to you to protect yourself and your loved ones so that you don't become part of these grim statistics of hospital acquired infections.
Take a probiotic supplement every day. A quality probiotic can give your body the good bacteria it needs to fight off the bad so you never get sick even if you're exposed to disease-causing germs.
If you ever have to spend any time in a hospital -- whether it's an extended stay due to surgery or illness or an hour-long visit to a sick friend -- double up on your probiotic.
The same rule applies if you're ever given an antibiotic, since the drugs will kill off your good bacteria and leave you prone to infection. A probiotic will help replace what you've lost.
And finally, if you're in a hospital for any reason, use common-sense good hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and water, and make sure everyone who touches you -- even doctors and nurses -- does the same.
In theory, they should do it automatically. In reality, be sure to ask.
After all, your life is in their hands. The least they can do is make sure those hands are clean.