Using Disinfectant at Hospitals Reduces Infection by 44 Percent

by | Jun 19, 2013 | Firm News, General Interest |

If you are admitted to the hospital in Toledo, you would expect doctors and other hospital staff to use disinfectant soaps to clean you. You would likely assume that since hospitals can be breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses, that hospitals would want to reduce the risk to their patients, not only for the patients’ health but also to reduce the likelihood that they will be subject to medical negligence lawsuits. It would notbe unreasonable to make these assumptions, but it would appear that some of them may be wrong.

A recent study in The New England Journal of Medicine has found that disinfectant soaps and ointments can reduce hospital-borne bloodstream infections by
44 percent. This is a huge reduction in risk, which calls into question why hospitals already are not using disinfectants on everyone admitted to specific hospital units.

It appears that the study was focused on patients in the intensive care unit, so it is not entirely clear what sort of efficacy the practice of using disinfectant soaps and ointments would have in other parts of the hospital.

It is incredibly important to lower the risk of acquiring hospital-borne bloodstream infections. Certain infections, like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, are very difficult to treat and can easily take a patient’s life. Other infections may remain undiagnosed until it is too late to treat the patient.

What makes hospital-acquired pneumonia so dangerous is that the germs that are in a hospital are often more severe than those encountered outside of a health care facility. In addition, many of the people who are in a hospital are in such weak states that they cannot fight off an infection that an otherwise healthy person could.

Infections Are Not A “Normal” Part Of Giving Birth

Even if a birth went seemingly smooth, a maternal infection can develop days or even weeks later. If left untreated, serious, long-term health complications can develop, or it could even lead to the death of the mother.

Some common types of post-birth infections include:

  • Infected incision from a cesarean section surgery
  • Infection caused due to unsanitary conditions at the hospital
  • Urinary tract infection from the use of a catheter

When someone is sickened by a hospital’s failure to follow normal safety procedures, however, it is possible to hold it liable under a medical negligence lawsuit.


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