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Hospital Negligence: Hospital Water Supplies Could Make You Sick

The Anastopoulo Law Firm

Hospital care plays a significant role in many medical malpractice cases. Problems can arise due to surgical mistakes, medication errors, and lack of sanitation in hospital supplies. Hospital associated infections are a leading health concern, and studies suggest that one of the leading sources of these infections could be the hospital’s water supply. Learn more about this potential hospital negligence and your options for compensation to cover any injuries or suffering you have experienced in this kind of case.

Water Supply and Hospital Infection Rates

Healthcare acquired infections (HAI) can occur when patients are exposed to bacteria and diseases while seeking medical care for unrelated conditions in hospitals and other types of treatment facilities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that on any given day, roughly one in every 25 patients being treated in a hospital suffer with an HAI, which can result in severe and potentially life threatening complications. Conditions associated with HAI include:

  • Pneumonia and lung infections
  • Surgical site, wound, and blood infections
  • Infections and disturbances in the digestive system
  • Skin rashes
  • Illnesses such as Legionnaire’s Disease and meningitis
  • Chronic conditions, such as hepatitis and HIV

Due to hospital negligence, bacteria may be transmitted through feeding tubes, catheters, unsterilized medical instruments, or due to a lack of sterile safety practices among hospital staff. Of increasing concern to patient safety advocates are reports of patient diseases resulting from contaminated hospital water supplies.

Hospital Water Supplies and Infections

Becker’s Infection Control and Clinic Quality is a leading advocate of hospital safety, both for consumers and the medical community. It states that contaminated water supplies are a major concern in the healthcare industry, and is one of the top ten leading patient safety issues which should be addressed in 2017.

Water contamination in hospitals often centers around the aerators at the end of faucets, which combine a mix of both air and water. It is the part most likely to come into contact with the user’s skin and sprays minuscule droplets of water into the atmosphere, while being a breeding ground for different types of bacteria which can result in infections and disease.

Unfortunately, due to the need for constant hand washing, most hospitals have an abundance of sinks placed throughout their facilities, including in each patient’s room. To address the issue and to decrease the risk for hospital negligence and potentially dangerous, life-threatening infections, Becker’s suggest the following:

  • Consider restricting the use of sinks in patient rooms, or removing them altogether
  • Instead of faucets with drains directly underneath, which contributes to splashing, consider draining to the side
  • Use sinks built deep enough to contain any water or splashing that does occurs
  • Use waterproof materials in the areas surrounding sinks

Get Help With a Hospital Negligence Case

Have you or a loved one suffered an infection as the result of a hospital stay? If so, contact our experienced South Carolina medical malpractice attorneys right away. At Anastopoulo Law Firm we provide professional legal representation for victims of hospital negligence. We can review your case and advise if you might be a candidate for a medical malpractice claim. We serve clients in Charleston and throughout South Carolina, so call or contact us online today to find out how we can help you.

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