Hospital-acquired infections remain a major killer. Pneumonia and blood stream infections are responsible for nearly 50,000 deaths each year. These are called nosocomial infections because they are caught as a result of getting medical care. Many could have been prevented. In some cases they are related to ventilators, catheters or other equipment. Hand washing remains a big concern, but it is only the first step to controlling infections within the hospital. Patients should compare the rates of hospital-acquired infections before choosing a hospital.