Patients can be exposed to infectious germs during treatment of their illness or condition they sought care of. Infection can come from medical devices like catheters which are used during treatment of more than five million patients each year. Infections also may occur following surgery in the part of the body where the surgery took place. The Hospital infections develop in one to three of every 100 patients who have surgery.
The most recent government statistics suggest that approximately 1.7 million patients acquired hospital infections in U.S. hospitals in 2002. Approximately 99,000 of those patients died from those hospital infections. . The main source of spread of a hospital acquired infection is primarily from the healthcare provider or others working in the hospital to the patient. Hand washing is the single most important way to stop the spread of hospital infections. Despite that, only 40%, on average, of healthcare providers wash their hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand rubs.