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Hospital negligence leads to serious injuries

Whether it is caused by hospital negligence or doctor error, infection is a real hazard to patients, and not just in the third world, but right here in America. Because of the serious danger and the loss of the life that can result from an infection, any attempt to reduce the likelihood of an infection is seen as a positive step forward. A recent article on hospital negligence and failures in supervision detailed one of the more innovative ways the medical profession is tackling this problem.

According to the article, a couple of architecture students have designed a hospital in Rwanda that has dramatically cut down on infection and the transmission of disease. The project began after the students accepted a challenge to use design to address major health issues. Since the hospital opened in Rwanda's Burera District the area saw a significant drop in infant mortality rates, a larger drop in mortality, in fact, than anywhere else in the world.

While the news is certainly good, serious injuries and death due to hospital-based infections continues to be a huge problem. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 in 20 patients in American medical facilities develops an infection during their stay. While this may seem trivial on first impression, infections can actually be very dangerous, if not deadly. In fact, approximately 100,000 Americans die every year because of infections.

While the causes of infection among patients are innumerable, a recent study found that only 40 to 60 percent of health care workers practiced good hand hygiene regularly. Further more, nurses tend to be better at washing their hands than doctors. Ultimately, however, mandating and enforcing good hygiene is a responsibility of the hospital supervision. Hospital negligence should never be the cause of a patients death.

Source: Huffington Post, "Two Architects Reinvent the Hospital to Prevent Infections," Rachael Chong, Jan. 28, 2013

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