nosocomial adj. pertaining to an infection contracted as a result of being in a hospital.
While we’re all fixated on the current outbreak of swine flu, think about this – last year, more than 100,000 Americans died as a result of infections contracted while in the hospital. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, hospital infections are now the fourth leading cause of disease-related deaths in the U.S., only behind heart disease, cancer, and strokes. What’s particularly troublesome about this statistic is that the CDC estimates that 75% of these deaths were preventable. Maybe hospitals should be handing out those surgical masks that everyone’s wearing these days to their patients as they enter the hospital.