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Published on Mar 24, 2008
Do you know how safe your hospital is? According to the US Centers for Disease Control, every year throughout the country 2 million people get sick in the hospital from dangerous and preventable infections and medical errors. Even worse, an estimated 90,000 of these patients die.
What causes these errors? A number of studies show that many errors of this type are directly attributable to the understaffing of nurses in hospitals. A recent survey of actual staffing patterns found that many Massachusetts hospitals regularly force nurses to care for as many as eight patients at one time. This increases the likelihood of injury or death for each of those 8 patients by 31 percent!
In Massachusetts, frontline nurses and more than 100 leading consumer and public health organizations have united to try an end this hidden epidemic. The ad posted here lays out graphically the dangers that everyone faces when they go into a hospital where nurses are forced to care for too many patients at one time. The Massachusetts legislature is currently considering legislation, the Patient Safety Act (H. 2059), which would address this crisis by setting a safe limit on nurses' patient assignments.