Sherman Oaks, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/20/2008 -- Actress and Patient Safety Advocate, Alicia Cole will be bringing her awareness campaign to Sacramento as two important hospital infection bills are making their way through the California legislature. Senate Bill 158 sponsored by Sen. Dean Florez and SB 1058 sponsored by Sen. Elaine Alquist.
Cole, who is the survivor of a near fatal case of hospital acquired Necrotizing Fasciitis and Sepsis following a routine procedure is slated to address the Assembly Health Committee during a June 24th hearing.
The CDC estimates that approximately 100,000 patients die each year from hospital infections they receive while being treated for something else. In the State of California, the Public Health department recorded 240,000 hospital acquired infections last year at a cost of over 3.1 billion dollars to the state. This is the awareness that Cole wants to bring to light.
Cole’s plight began on Aug. 15, 2006 after entering a top-rated San Francisco Valley hospital for a routine procedure. “I could never have dreamed that my two-day hospital stay would turn into two months and nearly cost me my life,” says Cole. Necrotizing Fasciitis (also known as flesh-eating disease) is a bacterial infection that rapidly breaks down soft tissue and fascia surrounding the muscles. It can cause death in as little as 12 to 24 hours. In order to contract the bacteria, it needs to be introduced into the body, which can often occur through complications from surgery or infections from hospitals.
Cole now advocates nationally for better infection prevention safety standards and requiring hospitals to make public their infection and death rates. “Consumers have a right to know if there is an infection problem at their hospital. When we choose a restaurant it is not just based on reputation, but by the letter grade for cleanliness in the window. We should be able to make the same informed decisions about our healthcare.”
Both SB158 and SB1058 would require public reporting of hospital acquired infection rates, as well as, screening for the ‘superbug’ MRSA and improved hospital cleaning practices. California currently lags behind 22 other states which have laws requiring public reporting.
Cole, who is still healing and undergoing daily hyperbaric oxygen treatments, is urging fellow survivors and family members of victims to contact their legislators and ask them to support these bills.
“We are so close to making a difference and saving lives,” says Cole. “We owe it to those who did not survive to do better.”
Go to http://www.aliciacole.com for more information. Alicia Cole can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can make a difference. Email Cole and she’ll show you how.