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 not be 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 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.
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.