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Did handwashing deficiencies contribute to adenovirus outbreak?

Whenever a parent takes their child to the hospital, the hope is that their child will get better as a result, not worse. In most cases, this is what happens. However, there are situations in which a child does get sicker in the hospital. And sometimes, the reason why stems from negligence.

For instance, hospitals and hospital workers must comply with strict hygienic practices so that they do not spread harmful germs. Unfortunately, not everyone complies with these rules.

A tragic outbreak

Recently, for instance, an outbreak of the adenovirus occurred at a hospital in another state. According to reports, 18 children in the pediatric center got sick; six of them died.

Adenovirus can easily spread in communal environments like a hospital, especially when there are patients with already-fragile immune systems. It spreads orally through sneezing and coughing, as well as by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your own eyes, mouth or nose without washing your hands.

In the hospital with the adenovirus outbreak, health officials did find handwashing deficiencies in an inspection following the outbreak. Whether those deficiencies directly caused or facilitated the outbreak remains to be seen.

Patients can pay the price for failed safety practices

Handwashing is one of the most basic steps people can take to stop the spread of germs, and every hospital worker in Ohio should know how to properly wash their hands and follow the rules every time. Failure to do so can lead to preventable spreading of harmful diseases.

In addition to proper handwashing practices, hospitals and hospital workers must also follow protocols for properly sanitizing instruments, washing bedding and containing patients who are contagious.

When parties fail to comply with the rules for keeping a hospital as clean and sanitary as possible, patients ultimately pay the price. They can get sick or sicker, which can lead to additional health problems, longer hospital stays, and even death. Considering how high the stakes are, holding parties accountable for not complying with safety standards in a hospital can be something patients and their families may want to think about.