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How can hospital-acquired infections happen?

On Behalf of | May 9, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

Hospital-acquired infections are a real issue within healthcare facilities. Despite hospitals’ efforts to maintain a clean environment, these infections can still occur suddenly.

Understanding how they happen is important for anyone getting medical help.

Poor hand hygiene

One common way infections spread is through a lack of hand hygiene. Healthcare workers may transfer bacteria and viruses from one patient to another if they do not properly wash their hands. Even though there are rules about washing hands, sometimes workers forget or do not do it right.

Contaminated areas

Dirty surfaces and equipment are a risk for patients. Doctors may not realize that previous workers did not clean these places and assume they are safe.

As a result, germs can linger on surfaces such as bed rails, doorknobs and medical devices. This potentially infects patients who come into contact with them.

Lack of sterilized items

Surgical instruments and medical equipment must go through a sterilization process. However, if workers do not follow these rules or maintain the equipment, there is a risk of transmission.

Overuse of antibiotics

The overuse of antibiotics can increase illnesses by creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria. When doctors tell patients to take antibiotics even when they do not truly need them, this can lead to bacteria becoming resistant to treatment. This makes infections harder to manage. Patients may experience longer illnesses and need more care.

Preventing these infections requires a multi-faceted approach. By addressing all of these factors, healthcare workers can reduce the incidence of hospital-acquired infections. Those facing medical malpractice may want to seek fair compensation.