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Unsanitary conditions may lead to medical malpractice claims

Some hospitals in New York and across the country believe they are setting high standards when they require staff to wash their hands regularly. Others have implemented buddy systems in which health care workers remind one another to sanitize. Nevertheless, it is estimated that 13,000 people die each year from infections contracted during a hospital stay. When those deaths are the result of preventable infection, a patient's family may have a justifiable medical malpractice claim.

One woman was hospitalized for an operation to remove a benign tumor in her brain. Although the surgery went well, she began to experience redness and irritation at the incision site after her discharge. Her doctor confirmed she had contracted the MRSA virus, a staph infection that is resistant to most antibiotics. The infection required multiple surgeries and left her with painful nerve damage, an inability to work and enormous medical bills.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that patients contracting a hospital-related infection have a 25 percent chance that the infection is one of the six antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including MRSA. While these bacteria are difficult to treat, they may be simple to prevent. Hand washing has been the foundation of infection prevention for over a century. Nevertheless, a CDC report shows that this simple precaution is followed less than half the time in most health care facilities. Additionally, about half of hospital surfaces that may host bacteria are not sanitized properly.

Sanitation may be time-consuming for some hospitals, but killing harmful bacteria may save countless lives. If doctors, nurses or other clinicians fail to take basic precautions to prevent the spread of infection, patients in New York have every right to contact an attorney to discuss a medical malpractice claim. After careful investigation into a patient's situation, an experienced attorney will know how best to proceed in seeking possible compensation for injuries suffered in unsanitary health care conditions.

Source: usnews, "Keeping Bad Bugs at Bay in the Hospital", Katherine Hobson, Sept. 7, 2016

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