Thursday, June 6, 2013

Men More Likely to Get Hospital Infections than Women

My thoughts on this startling situation:  In many instances, society considers men and women as different types of people, and hence treats both differently in similar situations.  In medicine, men and women are treated differently due to differences in anatomy and physiology.  Though there is a push to view men and women as equals in social situations, I don't think this occurs so much in medicine - people want doctors to figure out how men and women are different so they can be cured of their ailments more easily.  It is important to remember, though, that the medical and social may overlap.  Since the doctors feel less pressure to "equalize" men and women in medicine, they may let this flow into their social mindset, which is NOT academically based.  Therefore, the doctors might end up mistreating their patients due to socially unverified reasons.  For example, since women are often perceived as weak, doctors might more carefully disinfect women than men before surgery.  Perhaps there are some medical reasons for these differences, too, for example, men may have more bacteria on the skin than women.  It's better to acknowledge these scientific differences, but how come doctors don't see this?  Is the overlap between medical and social mindsets real, or am I exaggerating this?  Feel free to comment.

WEDNESDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Women are less likely to develop infections related to receiving health care than men, according to a large new study.
After examining thousands of cases involving hospitalized patients, researchers found that women were at much lower risk for bloodstream infection and surgical-site infection than men. The study authors suggested that their findings could help health care providers reduce men's risk of these infections.
"By understanding the factors that put patients at risk for infections, clinicians may be able to design targeted prevention and surveillance strategies to improve infection rates and outcomes," lead study author Bevin Cohen, program director at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research to Prevent Infections at Columbia University School of Nursing, said in a university news release.
The study, recently published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, revealed that the odds of developing a community-associated bloodstream infection were 30 percent higher among men. Meanwhile, the researchers found a 60 percent higher risk among men for health care-associated bloodstream infections as well as for surgical-site infections.
Biological differences between men and women's skin may play a role in men's increased risk for infection. Previous studies have shown there are more bacteria present at the insertion site of a central venous catheter on men than women.


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