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Unsanitary Hospital Conditions and How They Affect Patient Health

Michael Becker

When patients enter an unsanitary hospital for medical treatment, they may unknowingly suffer a host of even more severe illnesses at the hands of hospital negligence. When a person’s immune system is already compromised, he or she cannot fight against new infection. However, an medical malpractice attorney can fight for claimants’ rights in or out of court.

Hospitals that fail to provide a sterile and sanitized environment can worsen patients’ preexisting conditions, cause further illness and even lead to dangerous and life-threatening infections. Patients who have experienced additional health issues because of unsanitary hospital conditions should consult with a local attorney, as they could have grounds for a medical malpractice claim and be due compensation.

Common Unsanitary Hospital Conditions

In order to prevent further sickness, injury and infection in patients, hospitals should take the utmost care in sanitizing and sterilizing equipment, surfaces, hands and tools.

Common unsanitary conditions in hospitals include:

  • Unsterilized or inadequately sterilized equipment, including needles, surgical tools and more;
  • Sick staff members;
  • Staff members with unwashed or improperly washed hands;
  • Incorrectly collected or stored hazardous materials;
  • Unclean or insufficiently changed linens, clothing, towels, drapes and other garments;
  • Unsterilized work surfaces; and
  • Unclean clothing, gloves or masks on staff members.

Hospitals and medical staff members have a duty to provide a healthy and safe environment for patients. Failure to do so could qualify as medical malpractice or negligence and entitle patients to compensation through a legal claim.

What Unsanitary Hospital Conditions Cause

Unsanitary hospital conditions can lead to a number of serious and even deadly consequences for patients. Most commonly, patients contract additional infections. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every 20 patients contracts an infection while seeking health care. If infections aren’t immediately recognized or treated, they can have severe adverse side effects or even be deadly for patients who contract them. This situation is likely to happen as patients assume the illness is related to their original illness or injury.

Additionally, unsanitary conditions can also lead to increased exposure to germs and bacteria, both of which can worsen a patient’s preexisting conditions, require more treatment and a longer hospital stay.

When Hospital Negligence Leads to Infection or Injury

To recoup the extra costs a victim must pay out for an additional stay at a hospital or a return visit because of an illness contracted on-site, he or she will need to file a medical malpractice claim. A malpractice claim could entitle victims to compensation for medical bills (including any further treatment required for the infection or injury), pain, suffering, disability, lost income, lost quality of life and more. Additionally, if a patient has died because of an infection or illness resulting from unsanitary hospital conditions, their loved ones may consider filing a wrongful death suit on their behalf.

Filing a malpractice claim also may help prevent other patients from suffering the same fate, especially if punitive damages are awarded. To get started in filing a malpractice claim, victims should contact a medical malpractice attorney at (440) 252-4399 today to learn more about unsanitary hospital conditions.

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