5 Things You Didn't Know About Hospitals: Malpractice, Common Surgical Mistakes, Contaminated Water, Staph/MRSA
People love rushing to the hospital whenever something happens, but in reality, hospitals are like the police; they are a double-edged sword. When you walk into a hospital, you can't always be sure that you will walk back out of it again, or what condition you will be in when you walk out of it. Sometimes we are worse for wear after we walk out of a hospital, compared to when we walked into it. Worst case scenario, some people will walk into a hospital, but they will no longer be able to physically walk out of it or they will die in it. So what is the problem? What is wrong with hospitals? The problem is the environment. People go into hospitals expecting them to be germ-free, but this is impossible. Hospital staff are sometimes lacking in the hygiene department, or even when they try their best to keep germs under control, every disease imaginable still ends up in hospitals, and bacteria spreads so easily that it is hard to control them; this is why we get epidemics.
Think about this, have you ever walked into a hospital and seen masks at the entrance? These masks are offered in every hospital and for good reason. People come in with all kinds of viruses, so even just walking into a hospital could expose you to any number or breathing or viral infections alone. Unfortunately, these are not the only problems found in hospitals. So today, we will cover 5 factors that cause worsening health problems that occur in hospitals.
Doctors can make deadly mistakes during surgery, and many of them aren't charged with malpractice for it. In fact, most doctors won't even tell you about a mistake they made until it starts causing you noticeable pain and harm in order to avoid being sued and paying out for the mistake they made.
"Doctors make careless and dangerous errors, like leaving a scalpel in someone's body after surgery, surprisingly often, a new study finds. The analysis, published Dec. 19 in the journal Surgery, used malpractice records to find instances in which surgeons operated on the wrong patient or part of the body, or left objects inside the patient after surgery...the study found doctors leave towels, cotton balls, sponges and other surgical equipment inside patients' bodies about 39 times a week, on average. Doctors operate on the wrong body part 20 times a week and the wrong patient, also 20 times a week...Makary's team picked out 9,744 malpractice lawsuits in which hospitals paid patients or their families...The research team concluded that more than 80,000 major surgical errors happened between 1990 and 2010. About 7 percent of those unlucky patients died, while a third of them suffered permanent injury as a result of the mistake" ("Oops! US Doctors Screw Up Surprisingly Often: Study", Tia Ghose, 2012, Livescience).
"Your skin is a natural barrier against infection. Even with many precautions and protocols to prevent infection in place, any surgery that causes a break in the skin can lead to an infection. Doctors call these infections surgical site infections (SSIs) because they occur on the part of the body where the surgery took place" ("Risk Of Staph Infection After Surgery Linked To Type Of Procedure", Catharine Paddock, 2010, MedicalNewsToday).
In terms of Staph, you need to understand that for every thousands of surgeries done, hundreds of people come down with Staph. Surgeries on the head and chest are the most common areas that get infected with Staph. A little more than half of the infections that occur are resistant to treatment since it is a methicillin-resistant form of MRSA. Staph is not the only risk though. You can get exposed to any bacterial infection at the site of surgery; it is not limited to just Staph.
Of course, not everyone who has surgery will develop an infection from it, but you should understand all the risks involved before committing to surgery. Furthermore, though people today seem to think their bodies are immortal, pain alone can kill you, so you do need to think carefully about the current state your body is in/how strong it is, before risking surgery.
Hospitals carry all kinds of diseases and illnesses, so it is very hard to keep them totally clean. This is one of the reasons why people often develop infections after being in the hospital for a long time or after having a big surgery. The very utensils used may not be clean; the hospital's tap water that is used to sterilize utensils may be unclean, which will contaminate all their other equipment.