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Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Lawyers, Philadelphia Medical Negligence Law Firm
You go in the hospital to get better. People don’t go in the hospital as an elective. There’s something wrong or needs improvement and that’s why hospitals exist – to make people better and more healthy.
Sometimes patients die. It’s a fact of life and maybe life has just worn out its welcome.
Sometimes people don’t have to die and they don’t have to get sicker in the hospital. Sometimes hospital workers make mistakes. Sometimes these simple mistakes are avoidable, like for instance, hospital infections. What’s alarming is that according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) there are 1.7 million healthcare related infections every year; 22 percent of these are surgical wound infections. Frightening? Yes.
MRSA is a staph infection resistant to antibiotics. In a 2007 study, one out of every 20 hospital patients was infected with MRSA or was a carrier.
What can hospitals do to clean up their act? More importantly, what can you do as the patient, the patient’s family or an advocate of the patient to protect from avoidable infections.
The best protection is the most viable. Tell everyone to wash their hands. This includes doctors, nurses, orderlies, hospital volunteers, family members and well meaning friends. Do not let anyone touch you or the patient until you have seen them wash their hands for 20 seconds.
Don’t even think about feeling badly that you’re telling the doctor what to do – just do it politely.
The CDC puts great emphasis on hand hygiene for patient safety. Improved adherence to hand hygiene (i.e. hand washing or use of alcohol-based hand rubs) has been shown to terminate outbreaks in health care facilities, to reduce transmission of antimicrobial resistant organisms (MRSA) and reduce overall infection rates.
When healthcare personnel's hands are visibly soiled, they should wash with soap and water.
The use of gloves does not eliminate the need for hand hygiene. Likewise, the use of hand hygiene does not eliminate the need for gloves. Gloves reduce hand contamination by 70 to 80 percent, prevent cross-contamination and protect patients and personnel from infection. Hand rubs should be used before and after each patient just as gloves should be changed before and after each patient.
Each healthcare facility should develop a system for measuring hand hygiene recommendations.
Patients who develop infections during or after surgery may be eligible for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Please contact a medical malpractice attorney for guidance.