By Karen Abernathy

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A South Mississippi hospital received high marks in a recent issue of Consumer Reports. Garden Park Medical Center in Gulfport was ranked alongside world renowned facilities such as the Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic.

It was part of the consumer magazine's report on hospital acquired infections, focusing on bloodstream infections in intensive care units.

Central lines are the catheters used to deliver fluids, medication, and nutrition to hospital patients. They're a big part of hospital care, but extreme caution has to be used to help prevent bloodstream infections. Those common hospital acquired infections kill up to 25 percent of the people who develop them.

"Nationwide there are 250,000 people who get central line infections in our hospitals every year, and 30,000 don't survive. So it is an initiative we've been focused on for quite some time," Garden Park Medical Center CEO Brenda Waltz said.

And that initiative is apparently paying off. In recognizing Garden Park Medical Center, Consumer Reports noted that the facility had zero infections in more than 1,000 central-line days. That's way below the national average of 1.9 per 1000.

"We now gown and glove for that procedure," Waltz said. "We have infection control police throughout the hospital, and we use a certain anti-bacterial before we do any procedure."
She also said the importance of hand washing can't be stressed enough.

Other hospitals with high marks included in the study were the Cleveland and Mayo Clinics, and the Henry Ford Health System.

"We're thrilled and excited to be in the same league with them, with our zero infection rates for central lines."

Garden Park was the only South Mississippi hospital included in the Consumer Reports article, which looked at 61 hospital systems throughout the country.

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