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Jan 7, 2010 9:01 AM by Associated Press

Medical studies highlight new approaches to trim hospital infections

Research on reducing post-surgical infections in hospitals show that use of a nasal ointment and an antiseptic worked dramatically better than the usual iodine scrub.

A study done at six hospitals in the U.S. used an antiseptic instead of the usual iodine scrub on the surgical area. A month later, the overall infection rate for the antiseptic was about 10 percent, compared to 16 percent for iodine. The antiseptic costs four times as much, but one expert says the expense is outweighed by the thousands saved by preventing costly infections.

The other study, in the Netherlands, found that screening patients for staph infections before their surgery, and treating them if necessary, cut infections after surgery from eight percent to three percent.

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