Studies indicate that as much as five percent of all patients will acquire some form of infection during a typical stay in an American hospital. Despite strict regulations regarding sanitation and precautions against infectious diseases, more than 1.5 million patients will acquire a health care-related infection this year, and more than 95,000 people will die.
At DeLuca & Weizenbaum, Attorneys at Law, we are committed to the principle that hospital patients have the legal right to expect sanitary conditions while receiving the highest levels of medical care and treatment. When a hospital fails to follow the appropriate standard of sanitation and safety precautions, patients have the right to make a claim for damages, based on sub-standard medical care.
We empower people to hold medical professionals and hospitals accountable for breaking the rules or taking shortcuts with people's health.
If you have acquired pneumonia, a urinary tract infection, gastrointestinal infection or an infection of the surgical site while hospitalized, contact us to schedule an opportunity to meet with an experienced Massachusetts and Rhode Island medical malpractice attorney at our firm.
Here are some basic tips for avoiding infections during your hospital care:
- Clean the surgical site and surrounding area yourself before going to the hospital: Your surgeon will take every precaution to sterilize the incision site prior to surgery, but you can take extra precautions by bathing and sanitizing the entire area around your incision site beforehand. If your doctor didn't recommend a sanitizing agent to use during your pre-surgery preparations, talk to your pharmacist.
- Stay warm while you are in the hospital: Many hospitals now issue surgery gowns that can be heated. Operating rooms are kept chilly for the doctors and nurses. Don't try to be brave. Ask for warm air pumped into your gown. When your body's surface gets chilled, blood vessels constrict and divert blood away from the surface. This is the body's natural way to conserve heat. Less blood on the surface means less oxygen is being supplied to the surgery site, reducing your body's ability to fight infection in that area.
- Keep your bed area clear and clean: Any item is capable of having germs on its surface. Don't let old food dishes, dirty napkins and personal items accumulate near your hospital bed. Ask your room attendant to clear everything away as soon as possible.
- Clean hands: Insist that you are permitted to wash your hands frequently. If you are unable to get to the sink in your room, insist that sanitizer lotion or wipes are made immediately available. Insist that nurses and room staff wear gloves or sanitize their hands after serving food, cleaning room, changing IVs or changing bedding for yourself or other patients in your room.
- Don't shave: Shaving increases the risk of cuts or nicks that become fertile fields for infectious germs.
- Don't smoke: Smoking even a single cigarette while in the hospital will reduce your body's ability to fight infections.
Medical malpractice cases are complicated and require sophisticated medical and legal knowledge. Our lawyers and medical professionals on staff have the skills and experience to successfully pursue your claim. Contact us at our offices in Providence to schedule a free consultation or for more tips on how to avoid hospital infections. We represent clients throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts.