Hidden Hospital Dangers
Posted By The Carlson Law Firm || 17-Sep-2011
Hospitals have long been associated with healing the sick and encouraging wellness among patients. But despite efforts, hospitals and the health care industry struggle with overworked employees, rampant germs and unorganized records that could very well be making patients sicker.
Errors and Accidents
Although hospitals may seem like a safe refuge to rush when patients become ill or injured, medical mistakes spark an increased risk of leaving you harmed. In fact, one in five patients who are hospitalized are effected by medical errors that leave them suffering, in pain or sicker than when they walked through the doors. As many as 200,000 people die every year as a result of infections caused by hospital errors, costing the U.S. as much as $17 billion every years.
Why Are Errors So Widespread in Hospitals?
Hospital employees, including doctors and nurses, are notorious for working long hours and extended shifts, leaving them prone to making dangerous mistakes that affect their patients. Studies show that hospital interns that work 24-hour shifts five or more times during a month are 7 times more likely to make mistakes while on the job that potentially harm patients.
Another reason hospitals are a breeding ground for infections and bacteria are poor sanitation habits of employees, who risk harmful transfer of infection, viruses and bacteria from patient to patient. Research shows that a majority of hospital staff only wash hands half as much as necessary.
According to a study completed by The American Journal of Infection Control, 60 percent of hospital personnel uniforms tested were found to harbor potentially dangerous pathogenic bacteria, some of which were drug resistant, highlighting just one of many sources provoking infection among patients. Neck ties worn by doctors and other employees are another source of bacteria that can be a vehicle for transferring bacteria throughout a hospital setting.
In addition to poor sanitation and extended shifts, the way hospitals maintain records and data about patients has recently taken some heat as another cause of fatal hospital errors. Records containing information about allergies, medications and dosage are often plagued with mistakes, especially when physical records are maintained in contrast with electronic versions.
One in every seven infections picked up by hospital patients result in death, emphasizing the serious need for drastic changes in hospital infection prevention procedures. Preventable injuries, sickness and deaths as a result of hospital malpractice are unnecessary and require drastic change and accountability.
Texas Hospital Error Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of hospital visit, contact our medical malpractice attorneys in San Antonio, Austin, Killeen and statewide Texas, contact us online or visit one of our 11 law offices in Texas.