Hospital infections: silent killers

"My father was one of the most humble and self-effacing people," said Pat Masters.

"He was very vibrant, passionate about his work and his hobbies," said Gregory Gardner.

Pat's father and Gregory's father never knew each other, but both of them have something in common. While in the hospital, both of them had contracted the C. Diff infection.

"He went in for neck surgery and two days after the surgery his intestines ruptured," said Pat, who created an infection defense kit.

Pat's father was one of nearly 100,000 people killed last year by hospital infections. According to the /*Centers for Disease Control*/, 1.7 million Americans contract a hospital infection each year. Armed with that information, the former medical reporter took action, creating the empowered patient infection defense kit.

"Thirty-five percent of blood-pressure cuffs have C. Diff. on the inside. Seventy-something percent have MRSA," said Pat.

The $27 kit includes plastic liners for the cuffs, hand sanitizer, bleach wipes to kill C. Diff, antimicrobial wipes, a disinfectant spray called Hibiclens to be used before surgery, and covers for the remote.

"The TV remote control, I never thought about. That's something that's a source of infection," said Mary Ball who bought the kit for her husband.

As a retired nurse, Mary knows firsthand how dangerous these infections can be.

"Most of us know someone who died of an infection and that's scary," said Mary.

"Until it happens to you, you never fully realize how important it is to be prepared because the impact that it has is devastating," said Gregory.

"Death is part of life. We don't deserve to die in that condition. We don't deserve to die of infections," said Mary.

Everything in the kit can also be found individually in stores. If you made the kit yourself, the contents would cost about $34. The kit sells for about $27 on Pat's Web site.



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