How Patients Can Evaluate Different Hospitals

An alarming disparity exists among hospitals and other health care facilities in the United States. Some hospitals provide stellar care, while others see continued medical errors or may be breeding grounds for infection. Clearly, where you stay can have a huge impact on both your current symptoms and long-term health. If possible, you’ll want to assess local options while you feel healthy to ensure that you make the right decision in the event of a medical emergency. The following are a few of the many factors worth considering as you select the best possible location for treatment: Look at a…

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The Presence of Drug-Resistant Bacteria in Hospital Sinks

When you visit a hospital, you expect the facility to be clean and sterile. In fact, hospitals must adhere to strict regulations when it comes to cleanliness. However, a new study at a hospital in Milwaukee found that strains of drug-resistant bacteria existed in multiple sink drains in the hospital. In spaces where sick patients reside each day, these bacteria can pose a significant hazard. Drug-Resistant Bacteria Study A study published in the American Journal of Infection Control examined the cleanliness of a 26-bed intensive care unit in Milwaukee. The hospital had an open concept design for each room, with…

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Doctor Burnout: Risks, Causes, and Consequences

Doctors have a very strenuous job – however, their job is also extremely important to the well-being of the people they treat. Many physicians report feeling stressed and burned out as a result of their profession, which can lead to dangerous medical errors. Have you suffered injuries due to doctor burnout? Doctor Burnout Statistics A national survey found that over half of American doctors experience burnout, making them more likely to cause medical errors. Out of the 6,700 clinic and hospital physicians surveyed: Over 10% of doctors stated that they committed at least one severe medical mistake in the three…

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The Most Common Hospital-Acquired Infections

Many patients arrive at the hospital seeking treatment for deadly infections — but some acquire infections at the hospital. The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) account for nearly 100,000 deaths every year. Below, we offer insight into a few of the most common HAIs: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Better known as MRSA, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is arguably the most well-known hospital-acquired health problem. The staph bacteria is notoriously resistant to common antibiotics. Thankfully, research indicates that hospital-acquired MRSA is on the decline. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal…

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Tips to Ensure Your Doctors and Nurses Take Good Care of You in the Hospital

When you go to the hospital, you naturally want to assume everyone there has your best interests at heart—and most of the time, they do. However, when doctors and nurses work long shifts and care for many patients at once, it becomes easier for touch points to be overlooked or mistakes to be made. What can you do to help your healthcare providers give you the level of care you need and deserve? Here are some tips that may help. Be polite and respectful, even when you don’t feel like it. Let’s be honest: You’re not going to be at…

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How Dangerous Is Poor Air Quality in Hospitals?

For hospitals and other healthcare facilities, maintaining a high indoor air quality (IAQ) is a must for patient safety. Most hospitals install high-caliber ventilation and air filtration systems designed to clean the air and maintain healthy humidity levels. On occasion, however, these systems may either fail or prove inadequate, endangering patients, visitors and healthcare workers in the process. What are some of the potential dangers when a hospital has poor air quality? Here’s a partial list: Airborne pathogens. Disease germs and harmful microbes that float in the air pose the greatest health risk by far in poorly ventilated hospitals. Not…

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What to Know About Central Line Infections

Central line blood infections are responsible for thousands of deaths each year. Also known as a central venous catheter, central lines are placed in veins near the chest, neck or groin. A central line is inserted into a vein close to the heart to provide medicine or collect blood. These are not to be confused with IVs, which are generally placed near the arm or hands to provide fluids or medicines. A blood infection can occur when pathogens (a virus or bacteria) enter the bloodstream through the central line. There are multiple reasons why central-line infections may occur. Poor sanitation….

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What are Common Medical Mistakes in Emergency Rooms?

Emergency rooms are one of the most important pillars of our nation’s health care infrastructure. In fact, more than 100 million people are treated in US emergency rooms each year. While emergency rooms are a critical aspect of our national health care system, they are also facilities that may be rife with medical errors. Common medical mistakes in emergency rooms include but are not limited to: Diagnostic errors. You could receive an incorrect diagnosis in an emergency room. These medical facilities may be overloaded with patients and understaffed. As a result, doctors may not spend as much time with patients….

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Are Patients Aware When Medical Malpractice Occurs?

Medical mistakes are responsible for an estimated 250,000 to 440,000 deaths in the US each year. Some medical mistakes are caused by medical malpractice. However, patients and their families are not always aware of this fact. Physicians and hospitals may not admit to mistakes that harm patients. According to a survey conducted by Medscape, 7 percent of physicians say it is acceptable to cover up medical errors. Another 14 percent say that it depends on the circumstances. More than 70 percent of physicians who participated in a survey published in British Medical Journal Quality & Safety said they would provide…

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What Causes Surgical Fires?

More than 250,000 people in the US are killed by medical mistakes each year. Countless others suffer injuries, some of which may be life-altering. Surgical fires, which occur around patients who are undergoing surgical procedures, are a type of medical mistake that is likely to cause catastrophic injuries. According to the ECRI Institute (formerly the Emergency Care Research Institute), there are an estimated 500 to 600 surgical fires each year. Surgical fires can occur when a procedure utilizes flammable materials, ignition sources and oxidizers. Flammable materials may include surgical drapes, alcohol-based skin preparation agents and even the patient. Ignition sources…

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