ATLANTA (CNN) -- About 1 in every 25 patients seeking treatment at hospitals acquired an infection there in 2011, according to a new study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Patients acquired some 721,800 infections at hospitals that year, according to the research. Of those infected, about 75,000 died, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- although the study did not investigate how often an infection actually caused or contributed to the patient's death.
Pneumonia and surgical-site infections were the most common types of infection -- each accounting for about 22% of all infections -- followed by gastrointestinal infections such as Clostridium difficile, urinary tract infections and infections of the bloodstream.
While highlighting the grim reality that too many people become infected when seeking medical treatment in hospitals and other health care facilities, the study also shows progress from past estimates.
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