If you are like most people, you expect doctors and other medical professionals to have clean and sanitary hands when they treat you. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many health care workers neglect hand hygiene unless they are under scrutiny from others.
Research shows that appropriate hand hygiene in healthcare settings is overestimated by as much as 300%. Further, compliance with proper hand hygiene falls significantly unless medical workers are under direct observation.
Is it grounds for a malpractice claim?
Possibly. If the lack of hand hygiene leads to an illness or injury, you may have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim in New York City. According to a company providing hygienic products to medical and other facilities, poor hand hygiene played a role in the medical malpractice lawsuits below.
- A woman in a hospital to give birth to her baby contracted herpes when nurses failed to wash their hands properly after treating an infected patient.
- A hidden camera outside of a surgical suite showed that several physicians (about half) failed to wash their hands before entering.
- Poor hand hygiene contributed to a small outbreak of staph that left one victim dead and others requiring treatment in a hospital.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) supports the theory that many medical professionals do not wash their hands properly. It also indicates that about one in 31 patients has “at least one healthcare-associated infection.”
If you become unexplainably ill after a hospitalization or a doctor visit, consider investigating the facility’s hygienic practices. In most cases, a legal advocate familiar with medical malpractice can help with such investigations.
If you do have grounds to file a claim, learning more about New York medical malpractice law can strengthen your case.