Why Hospital Surfaces Are Hazardous to Your Health
Germophobes and people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, this blog may give you nightmares. If you are afraid to touch railings and doorknobs, our blog today may induce a mild panic attack during your next hospital visit. Germs are everywhere, but they love to hang out in hospitals. In hospitals, germs find ways to evolve and develop immunities to antibiotics, becoming ‘superbugs’.
Researchers at the University of Michigan recently published a paper showing that 25 percent of patients carried superbugs or viruses on their hands after being discharged from hospitals. Patients in post-acute care even picked up additional superbugs! This is because hospital patients in post-acute care were more likely to interact with others or hospital equipment.
Can Hand Sanitation Prevent the Spread of Hospital-Acquired Infections?
Hospitals are aware of the threat posed by bacteria, and many require super-strict hand sanitation policies for staff members. If you have been to a hospital recently, chances are you have noticed every room is outfitted with antibacterial hand sanitizer dispensers. These dispensers make it easier to prevent hospital-acquired infections from spreading to patients. Keep in mind, not all hospital-acquired infections involve superbugs, and sanitation can also kill less dangerous bacteria.
We are not encouraging people to stay away from hospitals to avoid superbugs. However, you should consider being extra vigilant with hand sanitation while undergoing treatment at hospitals. Hospital hand sanitizer dispensers and antibacterial soaps do not say “for doctors and nurses only”. According to the Centers for Disease Control, hand sanitation is one the most effective ways to prevent the spread of infection.
Not all patients who carry these germs will become sick, but the spread of superbugs is still a catastrophic threat to patient safety. Hospital-acquired infections in general (including superbugs) kill 75,000 patients every year. Any policy or behavior that can help prevent patient deaths from infections should be thoroughly investigated.
Shapiro Law Group is a Tampa Bay medical malpractice law firm with decades of experience helping the victims of hospital negligence.