Bring An Equalizer to the Fight. Choose a Firm That Was Created to Advocate for Victims.

Is Your Hospital Taking Simple Steps to Protect Children from Infection?

As we mentioned in a blog post earlier this week, hospital infections are a continuing risk to patient safety, claiming 90,000 lives a year. As San Diego medical malpractice attorneys, the most frustrating aspect of these deadly infections is that most are preventable.

In fact, according to a study published online last month in Pediatrics, a few simple safety precautions for handling central-line catheters in pediatric intensive care units saved more than a hundred children’s lives and millions of dollars.

Each year, 250,000 central-line infections occur in U.S. hospitals, and about 30,000 people die from them, research suggests. Moreover, each infection carries a price tag of up to $45,000.

Children in intensive care units often have a central line—a tube inserted into a major blood vessel in the neck, chest, or groin to serve as portal for medication or fluids—for weeks or months. Inserted incorrectly or mishandled after insertion, the line can become a gateway for bacteria into the patient’s bloodstream. Because doctors and nurses handle the catheter multiple times each day, proper handling is critical.

According to the study, hospitals that followed the following measures cut the number of infections by 56 percent over three years:

  • Basic precautions, such as daily assessment of the continued need for a central line and prompt removal when no longer necessary;
  • Regularly changing the dressing;
  • Changing the tubes and caps attached to it;
  • Cleaning the line before and after each use; and
  • Hand washing before handling the line can prevent infections.

Source: Consumer Reports