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3 Illnesses hospital staff may bring to work with them

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For many Tennessee residents, the idea that a hospital could cause patients to become ill seems counter intuitive. After all, these facilities exist to provide care for those who are sick. Unfortunately, there are many instances in which patients contract infections from hospital staff. As any medical malpractice lawyer in Tennessee would note, such infections are often quite serious. Below are three common illnesses that may be introduced to patients through hospital staff.

  1. Pseudomonas aeruginosa

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains that Pseudomonas infections are a substantial concern for hospital patients. This is especially true for patients with weakened immune systems. At particular risk are those who are post-operation, are on breathing machines or are recovering from skin burns.

Pseudomonas infections are often contracted when nurses, physicians and other hospital staff do not properly clean their hands or medical equipment. As such, policies that address contamination issues may help to prevent the problem.

  1. Fungal infections

According to the New York Times, fungal infections acquired in hospitals are often fatal. An estimated 75,000 patients die from this type of health care facility infection per year. The Times explains that such infections are often spread through contaminated fabrics such as gowns, bed linens and towels.

Experts believe that fungal infections may be partially attributed to inadequate contamination controls. In its investigations into an outbreak in New Orleans, the CDC discovered problems with a hospital's treatment of contaminated materials. CDC officials uncovered numerous cross-contamination issues between clean and soiled linens. These included the handling of linens in the same area as medical waste and the transportation of clean and dirty linens in the same carts.

  1. Staph infections

Skin infections caused by staphylococcus aureus bacteria are common, as any medical malpractice lawyer in Tennessee knows. The transmission of staph bacteria is most often the result of direct contact between skin and contaminated surfaces. Preventing these infections is possible through strict adherence to policies that address such risks.

The CDC explains that while many cases of staph infections are easily treated, there are certain strains that may be quite serious. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, for example, cannot be addressed with certain types of antibiotics. If a staph infection is not treated, it can invade a patient's bloodstream, joints and organs. In some cases, this may result in death.

Prevention is key

Tragically, deaths caused by hospital infections are often preventable. In many cases, they could have been avoided if hospital staff simply addressed cross-contamination risks. Those who have lost family members due to lax hospital protocols may wish to consult with a medical malpractice lawyer in Tennessee. These healthcare facilities may be held liable for their unnecessary harm to patients and their loved ones.

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