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How medical negligence causes infection to spread in hospitals

All types of personal injury can be tragic to victims and their families, but medical negligence can be especially devastating. Unlike being hurt accidentally, injuries caused by medical negligence are 100 percent preventable. The health and medical industry have standards of practice in place developed to help eliminate instances of preventable personal injury to any American patient.

The spreading of hospital infections is typically preventable when staff members follow safety standards. When staff members do not follow established precautions, one patient's infection could very quickly infect many other patients. A recent study involving 325 patient rooms revealed that hospital staff members often failed to take appropriate precautions to stop infections from spreading among patients.

The study involved trained observers watching as hospital staff provided care to patients under spreadable infection precautions. Here are a few key points uncovered by the study.

  • Staff made more than 100 departures from safe practices or procedures.
  • Observers noted that 144 procedural or process errors occurred during observation.
  • Staff members were observed entering patient rooms without utilizing the full range of personal protective gear (gowns, gloves, etc.).
  • Observers recorded staff members touching their own skin and "clean" objects while wearing contaminated protective equipment.
  • Hospital staff made mistakes while removing personal protective equipment after working with potentially infected patients.

When Illinois residents enter a medical facility, they have the right to expect that they will be better when they leave the premises. In many cases, this is exactly what happens, but a preventable infection can make patients even sicker --while delaying their release date. The best way for all Americans to help reduce personal injury caused by medical negligence is to hold the hospital and/or staff members responsible for their errors.

When medical facilities and healthcare workers understand the consequences of their negligence, they will likely be more inclined to follow established protocol in hazardous medical situations. As an American citizen, you can do your part by taking advantage of the nation's system of justice for those injured negligently.

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