Despite the fact it’s one of the main ways to prevent the spread of bacteria and germs, a new study indicates that hand hygiene isn’t always a focus of training in healthcare facilities. As result, patients could be at serious risk; each year healthcare-related infections take the lives of approximately 100,000 patients.
The following are some of the key findings from this study:
- one in 10 facilities indicated that senior management didn’t emphasize the importance of hand hygiene;
- approximately half of the 68 hospitals, long-term and outpatient care facilities set aside monies in their budget to provide hand hygiene training; and
- one in five failed to make alcohol-based sanitizer available everywhere it’s needed.
One of the first lines of defense in combatting healthcare-related infections is proper hygiene. Yet it appears that many facilities neglect to address this vital issue. Patients can arm themselves with information by learning ways to avoid a hospital-acquired infection and by learning what infections are usually caught at hospitals.
Most Common Infections Acquired in Healthcare Facilities
Hand hygiene isn’t the only factor in preventing infection. Ensuring that equipment, such as catheters, is clean is another. It’s also important to make sure gowns, gloves and masks are sterile. A sanitary environment will go a long way in preventing some of the most common types of infections.
Surgical-site infections: After a procedure, the site where an operation was performed becomes contaminated. These infections typically can be treated with antibiotics but sometimes require a second surgery.
Catheter-associated bloodstream infection: The central line becomes contaminated and enters the patient’s bloodstream. This is a serious infection that usually can be treated with antibiotics.
Ventilator-associated pneumonia: Infection in the lungs that occurs when bacteria infects the tube connected to a ventilator. This very serious infection is treated with antibiotics.
Catheter-associated urinary tract infection: Germs travel into the catheter and cause infection in kidney or bladder. Antibiotics are usually successful in treatment.
If it’s believed that poor hand hygiene or other unsanitary conditions were the cause of an infection, seek legal advice. Fill out our contact form and a lawyer at Gacovino, Lake & Associates can help you determine if your hospital-acquired infection was the result of a healthcare provider’s negligence.