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Infection transmission prevention mistakes: A common thing at hospitals?

Among the care commonly provided at hospitals is infection care. When hospital staff are caring for patients that have or show signs of having an infection that transmits by contact, there can be risks of the infection spreading. This is why it is so important for hospital staff to take proper precautionary steps when providing such care. One would hope missteps when it comes to such measures would be rare. Unfortunately though, a recent study indicates such missteps might actually be rather common.

The study involved observations of hospital staff conducted inside and outside of patient rooms at two hospitals. Specifically, it looked at staff members as they were engaged in precautions for contact-transmitted pathogens in connection to patient care. These sorts of precautions are typically taken when patients have or are suspected to have contact-transmitted infections, like Staphylococcus aureus or Clostridium difficile.

Around 325 such observations were conducted. During these observations, the observers reportedly spotted 283 failures by hospital staff when it comes to infection transmission prevention steps. These failures included things such as failing to follow proper practices and procedures, procedural mistakes and slip-ups. Examples of missteps spotted include:

  • Not having all recommended safety equipment on when entering a patient room
  • Staff making contact with clean areas or their face with gowns or gloves that were contaminated.
  • Mistakes connected to removing safety equipment

Such mistakes pose risks of self-contamination. When hospital staff are self-contaminated in connection to the care of patients with infections, they could pose a risk of spreading infections to other hospital patients.

So, it appears that there are a wide range of mistakes that may be commonly made when it comes to infection transmission prevention at hospitals. What steps do you think hospitals should be taking to prevent such mistakes?

Acquiring an infection at a hospital could have major long-term health ramifications for a patient. These health effects could impact a person’s life in many ways. Pursuing compensation for such harms can be a possibility when missteps by a hospital or its staff contributed to the infection. Skilled medical malpractice lawyers can help individuals who believe that hospital negligence was behind an infection they developed investigate their legal options.

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