From a very young age, we are taught to wash our hands, take baths, cover our coughs, brush our teeth and perform other essential hygienic practices to stay healthy. But other people don’t always take these same precautions, and germs and bacteria can spread quite easily.
In facilities that treat illnesses, we would expect their hygiene and sanitation practices to be exemplary. After all, these places are trying to protect people’s health, and that starts with extraordinarily high cleanliness standards. However, many people get sick because they develop infections in the hospital. These can and should be prevented with some standard infection-prevention practices.
Some of the more basic and obvious practices include:
- Frequent hand-washing by doctors, nurses and other facility workers
- Wearing gloves
- Using only sanitized materials
- Proper disposal and handling of needles and sharps
There are also some less-obvious practices that should be observed, including:
- Using only sterilized bedding for hospital beds and properly disposing of soiled linens
- Isolating patients with communicable diseases
- Limiting patient interactions with visitors
- Complying with proper disinfection and sterilization practices for tools that will be reused
It’s not only hospitals that must observe specific cleanliness standards like these. As we explored last month in this blog post, facilities that manufacture pharmaceuticals and provide other products for hospitals must also prioritize sanitary practices.
Unfortunately, failure by any of these parties to observe proper cleanliness standards can prove to be detrimental to the health and well-being of patients who may already have compromised immune systems.
When a patient gets sick or dies due to a healthcare-acquired condition, it can often be linked to inadequate cleanliness practices by the hospital or another party. Under these circumstances, patients and their families can be a position to file a legal claim against that party in order to collect damages for the economic and non-economic losses suffered as a result of negligent care.