Dirty surgical tools and hospital acquired infections

The practice of medicine has changed and evolved so much throughout the centuries that the last thing anyone expects to learn/hear about is the use of dirty and unclean surgical tools and medical equipment. Though it can take months for doctors/hospitals to notify at-risk patients, many people never find out at all.

In health care settings, medical workers and their employers must follow national, local and institutional guidelines to ensure their surgical instruments and medical equipment are adequately cleaned and sanitized. When there are issues with the cleaning and sterilization process, the risk of infection, injury and adverse outcomes increases significantly for patients. The exposure of patients to dangerous pathogens, staph germs and infectious contaminants can cause them to develop life-threatening illnesses like HIV and Hepatitis B or C that require continuous medical care. They could also develop other hospital-acquired infections from medical negligence that lead to difficulties with underlying and preexisting health concerns.

More oversight, transparency and accountability are necessary

Most hospitals and health care settings in New York have workers who are responsible for sanitizing surgical equipment and tools. Also, it is not unusual for nurses to take on the responsibility. Dirty and unsafe surgical instruments can occur for many reasons, including a lack of inspection before use. There are infection control processes in place to drastically reduce the likelihood of infection/exposure. Workers must adhere to cleaning and sterilization protocol to prevent further injury to patients. Many medical entities do not notify at-risk individuals, making it harder for patients to hold them accountable.

Infection from dirty medical tools is preventable 

Each year, hospitals across the country perform thousands of surgeries and invasive medical procedures. It is vital for doctors, nurses and other health care workers to use clean and sterile equipment. All medical equipment must undergo proper cleaning, sterilizing and inspection after each use/patient to prevent surgical site infections (SSIs). Proper sterilization processing training and safeguards are necessary. Patients should monitor their symptoms after their medical procedures and seek answers/accountability if they suspect some form of medical negligence has impacted their health.

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