Effective hospital cleaning practices are a key factor in preventing the spread of disease. Germs on hospital tables, bed rails, toilets, light switches, and other surfaces can spread infection if they are not properly sterilized. The Centers for Disease Control reports that about one in 25 patients in America is affected by healthcare-associated infections (HIA) every day. Approximately 75,000 Americans died from HIAs in the year 2011 and it seems apparent that environmental factors play an important role in transmitting disease. HIAs are infections transmitted through improperly cleaned hospital infrastructure HIAs can be easily prevented by improving the sterilization methods using in healthcare facilities everyday.
While it is clear that hospital cleaning practices need to be improved, there is little scientific research and quantifiable data on the subject. There are very few quality reports that detail cleaning methods and HIAs inside healthcare facilities.
Recent Ebola outbreaks in the United States have increased interest in hospital cleaning practices during the past year. New cleaning technologies include ultraviolet light and hydrogen peroxide vapor. These new technologies so far are reported to work better than traditional methods such as bleach and chemical disinfectants.
Surfaces that may promote the spread of infection are those that are touched often, including tray tables, call buttons, and similar hard surfaces. Doctors at NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland called for more randomized, controlled trials in order to learn and improve hospital cleaning methods. We need research that looks at the effectiveness of disinfecting practices and how these are monitored in healthcare facilities. This will help to improve our methods and decrease the spread of infection, disease, and death or injury from HIAs.
New Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawyers
If you have been injured due to a healthcare-associated infection or other hospital mistake, it is recommended you consult with a skilled medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your options. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injury. The Hayes Firm can connect you with an experienced lawyer completely free of charge.