Health News Florida (HNF) reports that doctors and employees of Venice Regional Medical Center have been going through a “re-education” process after state inspectors discovered that contaminated surgical instruments were used twice in March and patients were not informed.
Investigators for the Agency of Health Care Administration (AHCA) checked 10 surgical case records and allegedly found the instrument contamination problem in two of those cases. Not only can hospital-acquired infections be a huge patient safety issue, but also by law, patients must be notified of any “adverse incidents.”
Normally, when contamination is detected, a surgery is halted and the protocol is to decontaminate the room and equipment before continuing. However, according to HNF, one surgeon told state investigators that he was afraid that putting off the procedure for 30 to 45 minutes would be too dangerous for his elderly patient.
As far as informing the patients involved in the contamination cases, one physician allegedly told AHCA investigators he “was waiting for risk management to tell him whether he should tell the patient about the incident.”
HNF reported that records indicated one of the patients was informed of the contamination by an anonymous call from a hospital employee.
There is no indication that either of the patients involved suffered an infection due to the contaminated tools. It is estimated that 48,000 Americans die each year from hospital-acquired infections.
If you’ve been the victim of an avoidable hospital-acquired infection, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the Florida surgery infection attorneys at Farah & Farah at (800) 533-3555 to discuss your case and legal options.