Those in the health care industry are supposed to do everything they can to prevent patient harm. Doctors and nurses in New York City and beyond should be sure patients receive the correct medication and dosage. Surgeons must be sure they are operating on the correct body part and that surgical instruments are not left inside a patient. Sadly, medical mistakes happen frequently.
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched a campaign aimed at keeping patients safe by protecting them from infections like hepatitis and HIV. The One and Only Campaign is designed to remind health care workers that a syringe and needle should be used on only one patient in order to prevent the spread of infection.
Shockingly, in the last 10 years, more than 100,000 people have reportedly been exposed to infections. The exposure is often the result of a health care worker reusing a needle or dipping into a vial of medication more than once.
While most people would agree this practice is not acceptable, there are some who are concerned about the amount of medical waste that is produced on a daily basis. Although reusing needles isn't a viable option to reduce waste, some believe the medical industry should work to find ways to reuse certain kinds of medical equipment.
However, that may be a battle that is hard to win. In March, we reported that between 2002 and 2009, thousands of patients became infected after dirty surgical instruments were used on them.
Whether or not hospitals choose to reuse medical equipment, everyone's goal must be to keep patients healthy. When patients are harmed as a result of medical negligence, they may wish to pursue legal action in order to obtain much-needed compensation.
Source: The Daily Beast, "Why Green Hospital Practices Could Make You Sick," Kent Sepkowitz, Jan. 14, 2013
Our firm works with victims of hospital negligence. To learn more, please visit our New York hospital negligence page.