Medical malpractice is never acceptable, but it is particularly disturbing when the victims are children. While child patients are much more resilient than their adult counterparts in many ways, young children often have not fully developed their immune systems so they can be much more susceptible to serious hospital infections. These infections can be spread by failures to properly sterilize or clean equipment properly. When hospitals fail to follow proper procedures, large scale outbreaks become possible and deadly diseases can be spread to vulnerable patients.
Pediatric Patients Potentially Exposed to Pathogens at Seattle Children’s Hospital
Outpatient Surgery Magazine reports that up to 12,000 pediatric patients at Seattle Children’s Hospital may have been exposed to bloodborne pathogens since 2010. The hospital reports that it has learned that its surgical center has been reprocessing equipment incorrectly. The problem came to light when someone at the surgical center discovered debris on some instruments that should have been clean. While the instruments had been properly sterilized, they had not been washed correctly. As a result all of the surgical center’s patients are being warned to be tested for hepatitis B and C as well as being tested for HIV.