If you look at healthcare-associated infection statistics in U.S. hospitals, you will be shocked and surprised at the same time. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every 25 patients in hospitals, clinics, outpatient facilities and doctor’s offices contracts an infection while receiving treatment or undergoing surgery.
More often than not, improperly sterilized or cleaned medical tools and equipment are the cause of hospital-acquired infections.
Fact: Each year, an estimated more than 720,000 acute care patients develop healthcare-acquired infections in hospitals in Pennsylvania and all across the U.S., of which more than 70,000 die during the course of a hospital stay.
“The statistics is so shocking that you may think that the only way to avoid contracting an infection in a hospital is to sterilize and clean medical tools yourself before the procedure just to be on the safe side,” says our Philadelphia improperly sterilized medical tools attorney at The Weitz Firm, LLC.
The problem of inadequately sterilized and disinfected medical instruments and equipment has become so dire and urgent that the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had to issue an advisory urging U.S. hospitals, clinics, and outpatient facilities to conduct regular audits and trainings related to storage and handling of medical equipment. These audits also include inspections of how members of hospital staff clean, disinfect, and sterilized medical tools before using them in a medical treatment or surgery.
“Unfortunately, many hospitals and individual doctors, nurses, surgeons, and other medical professionals violate this advisory and breach the duty of care by failing to properly sterilize medical and surgical instruments,” warns our experienced improperly sterilized medical tools attorney in Philadelphia.
Statistically speaking, failure to properly clean and sterilize medical instruments is the leading cause of hospital-acquired infections. Sterilization of medical and surgical tools is required for a reason. Micro-organisms and bacteria that remain on unsterile medical devices are destroyed in the process of sterilization to prevent these micro-organisms and bacteria from coming into contact with body tissues and fluids. Improper or negligent sterilization of medical equipment can transmit pathogens and disease from one patient to another and result in a variety of complications and even deadly infection.
However, if you suspect that members of hospital staff used improperly sterilized or cleaned medical tools while providing you with treatment or surgery, you may be able to sue the hospital under a legal theory of medical malpractice. Make sure that you are represented by a Philadelphia improperly disinfected medical instruments lawyer from The Weitz Firm, LLC, to collect sufficient evidence and file a medical malpractice lawsuit as soon as possible to recover damages.
Clearly, failure to properly sterilize and disinfect medical instruments or surgical tools is a breach of the duty of care. In Pennsylvania and all across the U.S., all medical professionals have a duty to treat patients at an acceptable standard of care. Improper sterilization of medical instruments is a clear example of deviation from these acceptable standards of care.
There are many procedures and protocols regarding proper sterilization of medical equipment in hospitals. For examples, any time a healthcare provider’s hand touches any item, he or she is required to scrub their hands in the prescribed manner. Medical professionals are also required to wear facemasks and gloves and put on surgical gowns, as well as follow specific antibacterial preparation protocols when providing treatment or operating on a patient.
Failure to comply with these protocols and procedures exposes the negligent medical professional to a potential medical malpractice lawsuit. Speak to our medical malpractice lawyers from The Weitz Firm, LLC, to discuss your particular case. Call our offices at 267-587-6240 for a free case evaluation.