With the recent Ebola scares at the Las Vegas airport and in the emergency room at a Las Vegas Hospital, we may have found something more frightening than ISIS. The woman who checked herself into the emergency room at the hospital with a temperature of 103 and flu-like symptoms, turns out, had the flu. The passenger on the Delta flight at the airport reportedly “didn’t feel well.” It is safe to say, Ebola has us in a panic.
The real scare
Last year, 99,000 people checked into the hospital, got an infection from a hospital worker, doctor, or other hospital source and DIED. Ebola has yet to kill one person in the U.S. while infectious germs such as Methicillin-resistantStaphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and multi-drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MDR-TB) rage through our hospitals as a plague. These bacteria and viruses not only resist treatment for the infected patient, they are hard to kill on surfaces and hospital equipment.Sterile protocols that have worked in the past don’t work anymore.
It is good that we haven’t reacted to this epidemic the same way we have reacted to Ebola or nobody would dare enter a hospital.
What is being done?
Hospitals, doctors, and nurses that have reacted to this health crisis appropriately have changed their protocols and have calmly freaked out by taking clean and sterile to new levels. These teams have shown that HAI(Hospital Acquired Infections) can be contained when they are treated like the deadly toxins they are. Many health care institutions across the country report annually on their progress in stemming the tide. Some are succeeding; others are lagging behind.
Protocols involving any invasive procedure, particularly I.V. insertions and care, used for almost any inpatient care, are being scrutinized and altered to reduce the incidents of infection.
Even medical supply companies are joining the fight by providing special cleaners that are more effective against Antibiotic/AntimicrobialResistant germs (ABR). Even the way doctors wash up before surgery is changing.The ABR scare in hospitals is still new (within the last decade). However, many healthcare institutions still lag behind.
What happens when your hospital hasn’t kept up with the advances and protocols designed to protect you from ABR? First of all, it puts you at risk. Secondly, based on the information available, it is negligence.
Even though we want to believe our health care providers have altruistic motives, money is still a primary motivation. Those 99 thousand deaths from HAI and ABR last year had a $20 billion price tag. Hopefully, the families of the deceased sought compensation for the loss of their loved ones. Nothing motivates hospitals to change their protocols than being held financially responsible for their negligence.
What you can do
When your hospital fails to follow new protocols designed to protect you, leaving you with a dangerous ABR infection, you not only have the right to seek compensation for your injury, you should feel a responsibility to point out their failure so the patients behind you will receive better care.
Investigations by medical malpractice attorneys point out the flaws in protocols that institutions may have overlooked. Any hospital-acquired infection that results in death deserves the scrutiny it will receive from a wrongful death lawsuit. Our experienced attorney’s are here to help. Call Naqvi Injury Law today at (702) 553-1000.
For the record, Ebola is very scary. It has the potential to become a pandemic. Perhaps healthcare’s new protocols to fight HAI and ABR have prepared them to handle an Ebola outbreak. Let’s hope.