Hospital rooms, operating rooms and medical equipment are so poorly cleaned that any patient who visits the hospital is at risk of contracting the deadly superbug. This is true even if you’re going for the happiest reason: giving birth.

The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows an alarming increase in the most dangerous superbugs: Acinetobacter 78%, Candida auris 60% and the infamous MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) 13% year-over-year. % Increased.

The room or bed you are kept in when you are a patient determines your risk of infection. According to the Columbia School of Nursing Research, if a previous resident had the infection, your risk of contracting the same organism increases by 583 percent — nearly six times.

The cleanliness is so poor that the germs of the previous patient are still hidden.

Unlike the COVID virus, which spreads primarily through the air, the bacterial and fungal organisms terrorizing hospitals are spread by contact and can live on surfaces for weeks and months. Masks are useless against most superbugs.

In Washington, D.C., politicians and drug companies are pushing for legislation like the Pasteur Act, which would encourage companies to invest in new weapons against superbugs. “If we don’t pass it soon, we’re playing with fire,” said Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), one of the bill’s sponsors.

Sorry, but this is a long-term strategy. Patients who need to be hospitalized today, or this year, cannot wait for drugs that are not yet in the pipeline.

Hospitals should be laser-focused on a strategy that will produce immediate results: rigorous cleaning and disinfection. Still missing from the conversation.

According to Emory’s Dr. Lucy Witt, hospital mattresses are so contaminated with bodily fluids that putting a patient in bed 90 days earlier would have put C. diff (Clostridium difficile, the most common hospital infection) at risk for a new patient. Is. comprehensive school.

Impure medical equipment is another culprit. Researchers traced the infection to a contaminated electrocardiogram wire in a hospital burn unit in Galveston, Texas. The last patient treated with this wire was discharged 38 days ago, but the superbug survived.

These are not stories. The hospital is a sterile mess everywhere. A survey of 23 academic medical centers from DC northward to Boston by epidemiologists Michael Perry and Philip Carling found that hospital cleaners overlooked more than half of the surfaces that were supposed to be cleaned. . (Hint: If you have to eat lunch in a hospital room, the safest place to put your sandwich is on the toilet seat, which is almost never overlooked.)

The good news is that cleaning reduces infection rates. Researchers at Chicago’s Rush Medical College cut the spread of superbugs by two-thirds by instructing cleaning crews on which surfaces they were leaving and the importance of soaking surfaces and waiting, rather than immediately spraying. Clean up.

Perry reported that at Stamford Hospital in Connecticut, improved sanitation contributed to a “dramatic reduction” in infections, including a 75% reduction in C. diff.

Robert Orenstein of the Mayo Clinic reduced the spread of C. by 85% in a pilot program by cleaning the surfaces around patients’ beds with a bleach wipe once a day. Why isn’t every hospital doing this?

The stakes are too high to fix the messy status quo. A hospital patient who contracts a superbug has a higher risk of death than another patient with the same medical problem who does not get an infection.

Killing superbugs starts with cleaning hospitals.

Meanwhile, when you visit a loved one in the hospital, bring bleach wipes and clean the surfaces near their bed. You can save their lives.

Betsy McCaughey is the former lieutenant governor of New York and chairman of the Committee to Reduce Mortality from Infections.