Infection rates from colonoscopy more than 100 times higher than expected, study reveals
(NaturalHealth365) Conventionally speaking, most doctors urge their patients – age 50 and older – to get a colonoscopy, at least every five years. However, getting a colonoscopy or endoscopy procedure might actually be riskier than most medical professionals realize, according to recent research out of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
For the study, the scientists used an insurance claim database to gather medical information from six states – New York, California, Florida, Nebraska, Vermont and Georgia. Emergency room visits were tracked for hospital admissions related to infections for time periods of one week and 30 days following a colonoscopy or endoscopy procedure.
Shocking colonoscopy infection rates EXPOSED
The researchers determined that bacterial infections like Klebsiella and E. coli affect around 1 in 1,000 patients following a screening colonoscopy, over 3 in 1,000 after an endoscopy, and around 2 in 1,000 after a non-screening colonoscopy. Persons who have been hospitalized before these procedures had an even higher risk for infection.
Around 45 in 1,000 patients that had been hospitalized within 30 days before a colonoscopy had to go back to the hospital within 30 days following their screening to be treated for an infection. For persons hospitalized before an endoscopy, infection rates requiring hospitalization was over 59 in 1,000.
These numbers are significantly higher than previously believed. It was generally estimated that infection rates following a colonoscopy were around 1 in 1 million.
However, the Johns Hopkins research results indicate a rate around 100 times that. The results were published in the June 1 issue of the journal Gut.
The underreported problem with ‘routine’ colonoscopy procedures
Over 7 million upper-GI endoscopies and 15 million colonoscopies are performed each year in the U.S.
An endoscope is a reusable instrument that allows an endoscopist to see into the gastrointestinal tract. They can be used to screen for diseases like colon cancer and used for polyp removal to eliminate the need for invasive surgery.
Here’s the problem: patients are routinely told colonoscopies are ‘safe;’ however, post-endoscopic infections are a bigger risk than originally thought. And, it should be noted, infection rates can vary widely from one facility to another, the researchers reported.
Gee, I wonder why … could it be a (lack of) reporting issue?!
Strengthening the immune system is the key to avoiding unwanted infections
Overall, infection rates for all procedures were higher at outpatient clinics versus hospitals, the researchers reported. However, inadequate record keeping can prevent these clinics from gaining greater awareness of the issues that exist with their procedures.
Because of this, anyone about to have one of these procedures should be aware of these risks and take steps to minimize the threat. Another area of concern are these ‘superbug’ infections. Bottom line, our best defense against infections is a strong immune system.
Focus on eating a diet rich in organic vegetables and fruit – as much as possible – in order to load up on antioxidants. When eating fat or proteins, buy the best quality (organic) food possible to avoid unwanted synthetic hormones and antibiotics.
Remember, non-organic (processed) foods – and drinks – are loaded with immune-suppressing toxic additives, like MSG, GMOs and artificial sweeteners. (to name just a few.)
In addition, be sure to consume plenty of vitamin C and D to keep your immune system strong – especially leading up to a hospital visit or medical procedure. Any integrative doctor should be able to help you to understand what’s best for you.
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Sources for this article include: