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Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are mostly preventable but thousands of Americans die every year from them and many more suffer needlessly because hospitals fail to protect patients from being exposed to these dangerous superbugs.

Click here for State Health Care Acquired Infection Reports

Consumers Union Documents

Consumers Union News Releases

  • California Issues Report Detailing Hospital Infection Rates For 2011

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a number of reports today updating hospital infection rates for hospitals throughout the state during 2011. All California hospitals are required to publicly report patient infection data as a result of a 2008 state law that aims to encourage hospitals to improve efforts to prevent infections.

  • HHS Announces National Campaign to Improve Patient Safety

    CONSUMERS UNION SAFE PATIENT PROJECT — NEWS RELEASE Please Note: Consumers Union can connect reporters with patients who have suffered from hospital infections and other medical harm. To find out more, contact Michael McCauley at For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 Contact: Michael McCauley (, 415-902-9537 (cell), 415-431-6747,

  • California Issues Reports on Hospital-Acquired Infections

    The reports provide a first glimpse at Hospital Infection Rates. Consumers Union press release recommending the state work harder to ensure the data is accurate and provided in a format consumers can easily view and understand.

  • Report Finds That Only Half of California Hospital Workers Got Flu Vaccine

    Report Finds That Only Half of California Hospital Workers Got Flu Vaccine

  • Consumers Union Finds Slow Progress on Patient Safety in California

    California Department of Public Health Has Failed to Carry Out Key Requirements of Recent Patient Safety Laws

Blog Posts

News Articles

  • Dr. Kevin Kavanagh on how Ebola reveals scary gaps in U.S. health care
    Source: Lexington Herald-Leader (Sunday October 12, 2014)

    Dr. Kevin Kavanagh shares what he thinks are the most important health care lessons from the Ebola incident.

  • Presentation by Health Watch USA: The Case for MRSA Surveillance and Concerns Regarding Chlorhexidine
    Source: Health Watch USA video on YouTube (Thursday October 9, 2014)

    The following YouTube video served as a basis for the 2014 Health Watch USA presentation at the Stakeholders forum on Antimicrobial Resistance in Philadelphia, PA. The video is a quick review regarding MRSA Surveillance, Antibiotic Resistance and our concerns with Chlorhexidine.
    The YouTube URL is:
    A PDF of the slides can be downloaded from:

  • Single Dose of Antibiotic Found Effective in Quelling MRSA
    Source: New York Times (Thursday June 5, 2014)

    Administering a single dose of the new antibiotic for drug resistant skin infections will be easier to insure the full dose is taken compared to taking oral antibiotics for 7-10 days. antibiotics.

  • Hospital-Related Infections Hit Nearly 650,000 Patients in 2011: CDC
    Source: HealthDay (Wednesday March 26, 2014)

    “About one of every 25 U.S. hospital patients contracts an infection during their stay, and doctors can’t say for certain why half those infections occur, according to a new study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

  • NPR: Fewer People Are Getting Infections In Hospitals, But Many Still Die
    Source: NPR (Wednesday March 26, 2014)

    NPR covers the new CDC report on hospital infections. “Hospital-acquired infections continue to be a big problem in health care, with 4 percent of patients getting a new infection while hospitalized, a study finds. And 11 percent of those infections turn deadly.”

Research and Reports

  • OpEd on Kentucky and Healthcare Associated Infections by Kevin Kavanagh
    Source: Lexington Herald-Leader (Monday September 15, 2014)

    Kevin Kavanagh, chairman of Health Watch USA, explains what Kentucky is doing on hospital infections.

  • MRSA Awareness Event in Michigan (August 24, 2014)
    Source: Joy Cluff (Tuesday August 12, 2014)

    Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project will attend the 1st Annual MRSA Awareness event on Sunday, August 24 in St. Joseph, Michigan organized by MI advocate Joy Cluff. The event is a benefit for MRSA Survivors Network. Joy’s son nearly died from MRSA but he was able to fight the bug and now Joy is speaking out about hospital superbugs.

  • Kevin Kavanagh study on MRSA surveillance in surgical patients
    Source: Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control (Wednesday May 14, 2014)

    An article outlining the case for MRSA surveillance in surgical patients:
    Kavanagh KT, Calderon LE, Saman DM and Abusalem SK: The use of surveillance and preventative measures for methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus infections in surgical patients. Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control 2014, 3:18 doi:10.1186/2047-2994-3-18 Published: 14 May 2014

  • CDC Healthcare-associated Infections (HAI) Progress Report
    Source: CDC (Wednesday March 26, 2014)

    “Healthcare-Associated infections are a major, yet often preventable, threat to patient safety. The [CDC’s] National and State Healthcare-Associated Infections Progress Report expands and provides an update on previous reports detailing progress toward the ultimate goal of eliminating healthcare-associated infections.”

  • 2009-2012 Oregon Healthcare Acquired Infections annual report
    Source: Oregon Health Authority (Friday August 2, 2013)

    New Oregon report on hospital acquired infections, including data on 60 hospitals in the state. The report covers eleven mandatory reporting elements, including nine potential infections acquired while receiving care for other medical conditions. The report includes summary data for the state and individual data sheets for the 60 Oregon acute care hospitals.