Healthcare-associated infections kill 100,000 each year in the U.S., often because basic safety guidelines are not followed. That is what makes a medical study recently published in the American Journal of Infection Control so disconcerting.
Approximately one in five American health care facilities does not have a sufficient number of hand sanitizer dispensers installed, according to researchers at Columbia University School of Nursing and the World Health Organization (WHO).
While health care mistakes such as surgical errors and missed cancer diagnoses grab headlines, hospital patients are more likely to be harmed or killed by healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), also known as hospital-acquired infections.
Common types of HAIs include:
- C. diff, or clostridium difficile
- MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
- Surgical site infections (SSIs)
- Ventilator-associated pneumonia
- Catheter infections
Studies have shown that hand hygiene is the easiest and most effective way to prevent HAIs, so it is inexcusable that 22.5 percent of U.S. healthcare facilities have failed to install hand-sanitization dispensers at every point of patient care.
If you or someone you care about has suffered a harmful infection while hospitalized or living at a nursing home, there may be an opportunity to recover money damages. Speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney to discuss your case.
McKeen & Associates, P.C., has a staff of award-winning attorneys who adeptly represent victims of healthcare-associated infections.
Source: Science Codex, "One In 5 U.S. Hospitals Don't Put Hand Sanitizer Everywhere Needed To Prevent Infections," Feb. 27, 2014