Hand Hygiene Failure Can Cause Serious Hospital Infections

Posted in: Medical Malpractice | May 08,2019

Image result for hand washingFailure to adhere to proper hand hygiene protocols can cause numerous infections in a hospital setting. This May, the World Health Organization commemorated World Hand Hygiene Day to raise awareness about the need for good, basic hand washing practices in order to prevent the spread of disease.

The World Heath Organization is calling on healthcare workers to strengthen their hand washing practices both before and after checking up on a patient. The agency is also calling on health care facilities to mentor workers and supervise hand washing and infection control efforts at their centers to ensure that their facility is compliant with the organization’s hand hygiene standards. The campaign’s slogan is Save Lives: Clean Your Hands, and it underscores just how simple these efforts are compared to the vital role they play in keeping patients safe.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, practicing hand hygiene steps is a very basic, and yet effective way of prevention of deadly hospital-acquired infections. Far too many patients acquire infections when they are admitted into a hospital. These infections are caused when healthcare providers like nurses and doctors are negligent in thoroughly washing and sanitizing their hands before they attend to their patient.

Hand hygiene compliance rates in this country are shockingly poor. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that health care providers wash their hands just about half as often as they actually should. This exposes patients who are already physically weak and compromised to the risk of infections.

As a patient, it is your right to ask that your health care provider sanitize his hands before attending to you. Your health care worker should be washing his hands every time he enters your room. Remember, gloves may not provide 100 percent protection against infections. In other words, your provider should be sanitizing his hands even if he or she is wearing gloves.

Failure to follow hand hygiene practices can expose a patient to the risk of hospital-acquired infections. If you or a loved one has suffered an infection in a hospital as a result of a hospital, employee’s negligence, call the Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyers at Montross Miller and discuss your chances for a legal claim for medical malpractice damages.