Causes of an Unsanitary HospitalWhile a hospital may appear to be superficially clean and sterile, many of them do not meet basic cleanliness standards. One study done on a number of intensive care units revealed that about half of them contained harmful viruses and bacteria. Possible causes of an unsanitary hospital include:
- improperly sterilized medical equipment;
- improperly collected or stored hazardous materials;
- sick or contagious medical staff;
- failure to properly wash hands;
- insufficiently changed or washed linens (bed sheets, hospital drapes, garments, etc);
- unclean medical staff clothing; and
- unsterile or infected work surfaces.
Consequences of an Unsanitary HospitalThe consequences of an unsanitary hospital can be deadly. This is especially true for patients who have weakened immune systems. While a patient may be receiving treatment for one condition, they may have to endure additional treatment for developing a hospital infection or another serious type of illness because of an unsanitary hospital. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are expected to maintain a sterile and clean environment, living up to state and federal health codes. When there is a failure to do so, it can lead to devastating consequences, and all involved parties can and should be held liable. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that every year in the United States, approximately 100,000 patients die after acquiring an infection in some type of healthcare facility. Additionally, The Journal of the American Medical Association published data that twice as many patients in the United States are killed from acquiring methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) than previously thought. These findings are based on lab tests, not on information from hospitals. The sad reality is that hospitals are not disclosing correct numbers on how many patients die as a result of an infection acquired from an unsanitary hospital. Research has shown that the main causes of a hospital infection are:
- contaminated clothing;
- unsterile equipment; and
- a lack of hand washing.