Medical Malpractice Deaths Could Have Been Avoided if Doctors Washed their Hands

Without giving it much thought, you’d expect a surgeon to wash his or her hands before starting an operation. Unfortunately, however, that isn’t always the case.

According to the Hartford Courant, the World Health Organization estimates that more than 50 percent of acquired infections could be prevented if health care workers cleaned their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based handrub before treating patients.

World Health Organization statistics show that each year in the United States alone, approximately 1.7 million infections are acquired from contaminated hospital settings; of those, 100,000 deaths occur across the country from infections acquired in U.S. hospitals. Health care has the potential to be an extremely risky process given that it often occurs in a setting rife with contagious individuals, but despite the potential situational hazard, many of these infections could have been avoided.

Illinois medical malpractice lawsuits arise when health care professionals, by way of an act or omission, violate the standard of care owed to their patients. By failing to maintain a safe environment in which to treat patients, doctors, hospitals, and other providers become liable when their medical negligence leads to a patient’s illness, injury, or death.

There are numerous occasions that arise during which we have no choice but to go to a hospital for treatment. So how do we keep ourselves safe?

Fortunately the World Health Organization has taken strides to reduce the likelihood of infections acquired from disease-ridden hospital settings. The WHO has published a surgical safety checklist, the use of which has become mandatory in more than 100,000 hospitals worldwide. Representatives on behalf of the World Health Organization have said that the program has been proven to reduce surgical complications by one-third (33%), and related deaths by 50%. With risks so grave, it’s a statistic we can’t afford to ignore. As a result, choosing a hospital that follows WHO procedures may be a matter of life and death.

According to former English Chief Medical Examiner Liam Donaldson, approximately 500,000 deaths could have been prevented each year if more hospitals had instituted the WHO’s infection prevention guidelines.

When millions of people die each year in cases of medical malpractice worldwide, it’s even more devastating to hear that these losses could have been avoided. Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys understand the physical and emotional difficulties associated with Illinois medical negligence cases. Our attorneys fought vigorously to win a $2.25 million medical malpractice settlement for failure to diagnose an infection in a 5 year-old boy who became contaminated after a bone-marrow transplant, and died as a result of the infection. If you or a loved one have been the victim of medical malpractice, including acquiring a disease from a health care provider’s failure to maintain a safe and clean environment, an attorney may be able to help you determine your rights.

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