Where Injured People Come First

How improper healthcare practices can spread severe illness

On Behalf of | Mar 26, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

Illnesses can spread rapidly, and in some cases, they can put people at serious medical risk. Even common colds can be dangerous if someone has an underlying health issue, and more serious infections often carry a risk of death.

When people fall ill, they turn to hospitals or primary care physicians for diagnosis and treatment. Healthcare providers see people when they are at their most vulnerable. They may also see people when they are particularly infectious. Unfortunately, that means that medical settings can quickly become dangerous disease vectors when a community has cases of infectious illnesses. The failure to maintain proper quarantine and sanitation practices could lead to the rapid spread of preventable illnesses.

A recent incident is a potent example

There was a recent outbreak of measles reported in Philadelphia. At least a half-dozen people contracted this highly-infectious condition, and two of them required hospitalization. Public health officials eventually tracked the matter primarily to six local facilities.

Lack of proper cleaning and failure to impose quarantine rules for those who had fallen ill contributed to the rapid spread of infection at a daycare and several medical facilities. A lack of immunization was also an issue, as those without protection against measles can more easily spread the disease and are more likely to develop severe cases when they contract the illness.

Similar issues can easily occur in other medical settings. Understaffed hospitals and healthcare practices may pressure workers to come in while sick or possibly while still contagious after symptoms subside. Employees may cut corners when it comes to sterilizing and sanitizing facilities and equipment. They may also fail to change their personal protective equipment frequently enough to prevent transmission of pathogens between patients.

Best practices may include maintaining adequate space between individual patients, completely cleaning spaces between visitors and changing protective gear anytime someone interacts with an individual who may have an infectious illness.

Healthcare providers that don’t adhere to these standards put the public at unnecessary risk. Pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit based on negligence could be reasonable in cases where lax sanitation caused preventable illness. Patients who can connect health challenges to healthcare practices may be able to pursue justice from the parties at fault for their medical issues.