Needles and Hospital-Acquired Infections
By Younker Hyde Macfarlane on April 16, 2019
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 31 hospital patients will experience an infection in an average day. The CDC further found that 3 percent of all hospital patients in 2015 suffered at least one hospital-acquired infection during their stay. Numbers like these are why the Salt Lake City, UT medical malpractice attorneys of Younker Hyde Macfarlane take hospital-acquired infections so seriously.
We feel that hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) due to medical negligence and staff errors should never be acceptable, and are often preventable. With this in mind, our medical malpractice lawyers would like to consider infections caused by needles and intravenous (IV) drips at hospitals.
Needles and Infections
The skin is a natural barrier against infection, so any puncture or cut is a potential cause of infection. Since injections, blood testing, and intravenous medication is so common in hospitals, it should come as no surprise that there are legitimate infection concerns surrounding unsanitary use of needles at a hospital.
Problems with Injections
When administering injections, doctors, nurses, and hospital staff must make sure that they are using clean/unused syringes, and that the injection site is disinfected before the injection is made. Failure to follow these simple precautions can lead to serious infections.
Problems with Drips and IVs
The use of IVs is common in hospitals and in surgical suites. Anesthesiologists can set a drip for consistent delivery of sedative drugs, and IVs are also common in intensive care units to help deliver medicine and hydration. Issues with sanitary conditions and properly placement of the needle can increase the risk of infection.
Issues When Drawing Blood
Drawing blood is crucial for medical tests. Since needles are involved, the same precautions must be considered when it comes to avoiding infections and addressing the health needs of patients. When performing a rudimentary test, patients should not have to face serious infection risk.
Dangers Checking Glucose Levels
Checking a patient’s glucose with a glucometer or other methods is common in a hospital setting. Yet risk of infection can increase if hospitals do not follow sanitary condition guidelines. Having multiple patients use the same glucometer can lead to a heightened risk of infection that is easily avoided.
Failure to Idenitfy Clear Signs of Infection
If a patient is check into the hospital, it is importnat for nurses and medical staff to check injection sites and peripheral lines to ensure they are clean and free from infection, Neglecting to check these injection sites for early signs of infection could be a serious act of negligence, particularly if an infeciton is allowed to progress and worsen.
Safe Practices for Injections and Needles
When dealing with needles, the following safety practices should be followed:
- All needles and syringes should only be used once
- Single dose vials of drugs should be used whenever possible
- If multiple-dose vials are used, the medication should be drawn in sanitary places away from patient treatment errors
- Single dose vials and IV bags should only be used on a single patient, never shared
- Patients should be assigned separate glucometers rather than sharing them
When hospitals fail to abide by these safety measures, our attorneys will hold the staff and their supervisors accountable for negligence.
Speak with Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers
To learn more about your legal rights and options when dealing with infections acquired at a hospital, be sure to contact our team of medical malpractice and hospital error attorneys. The team at Younker Hyde Macfarlane is here to help. You can reach our law office by calling (801) 335-7025.
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