Patients in Chicago may want to think twice about the sanitary conditions their hospital, nursing home, or doctor’s office claims to keep. Recent reports and statistics on serious hospital infections suggest that our nation’s medical facilities are not as sanitary as they should be in order to protect the safety of patients.
Just last year, a 14-year-old girl contracted Clostridium difficile, also known as C. diff, while recovering from a brain tumor surgery. Besides running a high fever, her abdomen became severely swollen, causing intense pain. The teen said that the pain was so unbearable that she wanted to die. The pain the teen had suffered could have easily been prevented had the facility she had her surgery at been cleaner.
C. diff, an infection in the intestines, can be fatal and is found in an array of medical facilities, including nursing homes. According to one investigation, the infection kills more than 30,000 people every year in the U.S. Nearly 10 percent of patients who contract C. diff during hospitalizations suffer a wrongful death. As many as 500,000 folks are affected by the infection each year, investigators reported.
According to the recent investigation, the infection seems to be running rampant in the U.S. Many facilities that could harbor C. diff fail to provide proper programs to educate staff on how to sufficiently clean rooms. Due to tighter budgets, spending is also likely reduced for housekeeping, which increases the risk of spreading the potentially deadly infection. Other facilities are not limiting the use of antibiotics in patients as they should be. Patients can develop C. diff if they are over treated with antibiotics.
If facilities are not cleaned and sanitized properly, humans run a high risk of not only contracting C. diff, but also a variety of other illnesses. Because of these threats, hospitals and medical professionals must be careful about preventing dangerous infections.
Source: USA Today, “Far more could be done to stop the deadly bacteria C. diff,” Peter Eisler, Aug. 16, 2012