Be Part of the Solution
Fourteen years ago, I launched a national campaign to stop hospital infections, RID (Reduce Infection Deaths). Our success record is astonishing and our mission is more vital now than ever.
Antibiotics are losing their mojo, as germs adapt to them. Already, two million people in the U.S. contract drug-resistant infections each year, and thousands die from them. Television and newspaper headlines are warning of a post-antibiotic age. The Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths (RID) is on the front lines, meeting this challenge. Here is what you need to know.
All the benefits of medical science depend on being able to prevent and treat hospital infections. Otherwise procedures we take for granted – including chemotherapy, joint replacement surgery, dialysis, even simple surgeries – would be far too risky to undertake.
Part of the challenge is to keep the pipeline filled with new antibiotics. Since penicillin was first discovered in a moldy petri dish nearly a century ago, most antibiotics have been found in soil and reproduced in labs. The latest is a discovery at Johns Hopkins called Malacidin – short for “killing bad guys.”
Even so, these new antibiotics are years away. Future cures won’t save today’s hospital patients. That’s why RID’s work is so vital. RID educates patients on the precautions they can take to reduce their risk and brings the best research to hospital decision makers on what they can do to shield patients from these drug-resistant germs.
In hospitals, these germs lurk on door knobs, bedrails, and every other surface. Then a patient is admitted, and wham, the germs attack, invading a surgical incision, or climbing in through a breathing device or IV to cause a deadly infection.
New research shows that these drug-resistant germs even lodge inside hospital mattresses, waiting to infect the next patient. Your risk of developing a deadly infection depends on who was lying on that mattress before you.
RID is working to protect you from these risks. RID has a 14-year track record of success.
Fourteen years ago, not one state required hospitals to disclose their infection rates. Now 37 states do. If you have to be hospitalized, you should be able to find out which hospital nearby is the safest.
The hand sanitizers you see installed on walls throughout the hospital are a clear sign of RID’s impact.
RID convinced Medicare officials to stop reimbursing hospitals for treating hospital-caused infections and barred hospitals from charging the patient. Ouch! That means hospitals have to prevent infections to protect their own bottom line. As a result, more hospitals are making infection prevention a top priority.
RID does all this on a shoestring budget, less than $400,000 a year. We’ve been told we save more lives per dollar spent than any other nonprofit. We at RID appreciate your past support. Please give again. Our track record proves your money is spent wisely, not wasted.
To recap, thrilling new antibiotics are on the way. But tomorrow’s miracle drugs will not protect today’s patients. That’s RID’s mission.
Please give to help us make hospitals safer for you and your family. You can make a donation to the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths by sending a check to RID, 5 Partridge Hollow Road, Greenwich, CT 06831, or by using a credit card at our online donation form.
Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D.
Chariman and Founder