Possible Causes of Hospital Acquired Infections
Hospital-acquired infections (HAI) are a serious problem in Ohio and the United States. According to the Ohio Department of Health, about 5 to 10 percent of patients hospitalized develop an HAI.
What causes patients to contract hospital infections?
With so many sick patients in relatively close quarters, it’s no wonder that infections may spread in hospitals. However, healthcare workers are tasked with taking precautions to reduce the risk of infection.
While many cases of HAI are simply the result of the environment, unfortunately, in some cases, hospitals or hospital workers may fail to take proper precautions to prevent them. Some of the possible causes of an HAI include:
- not replacing or cleaning equipment that has been used on another patient;
- failing to clean hands with an alcohol-based rub or soap and water before touching medical equipment or a patient;
- unsterile masks, caps, gloves and gowns;
- improperly cleaned patient rooms;
- not using appropriate skin antiseptic on a patient receiving an IV or central line; and
- leaving catheters or other tubes in a patient longer than necessary.
Negligent practices such as these can cause some of the common types of hospital-acquired infections. If negligence is to blame, it may lead a patient to file a medical malpractice claim. The Becker Law Firm is available for consultation if you believe an HAI that caused serious problems and expenses is the result of negligence.