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Dirty surgical tools threaten patients life

Maryland has one of the most notable medical communities in the world, but even in a place with such a large and active medical community, accidents and surgical errors do occur. In a recent report detailing the findings of an investigation conducted by the Center for Public Integrity, it was shown that dirty surgical tools are a serious concern in hospitals all over the United States.

An investigation was initially conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and a Texas hospital after reports surfaced that several patients suffered infections following surgery. It was discovered that a deadly bacteria survived the sterilization process on an arthroscopic shaver, infecting numerous patients.

The follow-up investigation by the Center for Public Integrity looked into the prevalence of infections and related problems caused by dirty surgical instruments throughout the nation. The findings from the investigation were frightening. The report ultimately said that many instruments remain contaminated with blood and other debris even after going through the sterilization process.

The report noted a number of problems with the oversight and maintenance of surgical equipment, as well as the lack of regulation. The equipment is highly complex and can be difficult to clean and maintain. However, the maintenance staff that clean and care for the surgical equipment is typically paid minimum wage and is pressured to speed up the sterilization process.

Hospitals have an obligation to provide their patients with quality care, and infecting an already sick patient with a dirty tool is unacceptable. At a very basic level, patients should be secure in the knowledge that they will not be worse off when they leave the hospital than when they went in. Demanding accountability in such situations appears to be the only way to make things right.

Source: Today Health, "TODAY Investigates: Dirty surgical instruments a problem in the OR," Stacey Naggiar and Kerri Zimmer, Feb. 22, 2012

1 Comment

Medical procedures website attacks due to the use of filthy equipment can mean unbearable pain, extended restoration, loss of hands or legs or body parts, and even loss of life. Dirty surgical equipment do not always cause attacks at the surgery website. Sufferers may have to face the scary of experience illnesses such as HIV, liver disease, syphilis, or Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (mad cow disease).

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