Chicago Medical Malpractice Attorney Questions Why Doctors Need Reminders to Wash Hands

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Patrick A. Salvi of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. cites psychological study about motivating medical professionals to wash their hands and says simple hygiene should be routine practice.

Chicago, Waukegan, Cook County, Lake County, Illinois, medical malpractice, medical negligence, hospital negligence, hand hygiene, infections, staph infections, lawyer, attorney, law firm, lawsuit

Chicago medical malpractice lawyer Patrick A. Salvi

Taking a moment to wash your hands is a simple and necessary step for all medical professionals before they come into contact with a patient. Not doing so is medical negligence.

Chicago medical malpractice lawyer Patrick A. Salvi today applauded a recent study that says doctors washed their hands more often when patients’ health was cited in reminders, but said the underlying implication that physicians need to be reminded is cause for concern.    

“Poor hygiene, particularly failing to wash hands, is a serious problem in hospitals and a primary cause of infections in patients, including potentially fatal staph infections,” said Salvi, managing equity partner of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. , an Illinois personal injury law firm with offices in Lake and Cook counties.

“We’re in favor of any kind of reminder if it helps, but we’re troubled that doctors need to be told to wash their hands.”

In a study to be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, researchers say they posted two signs above soap and hand sanitizer dispensers in a hospital. One said, “Hand hygiene prevents you from catching diseases.” The other said, “Hand hygiene prevents patients from catching diseases.” The researchers found that doctors used the dispenser under the sign warning of patients’ health 10 percent more often.

Salvi noted that the Association for Psychological Science news release about the study also says health care professionals only wash their hands about a third to half of the time they come into contact with patients and germs.

“Taking a moment to wash your hands is a simple and necessary step for all medical professionals before they come into contact with a patient. Not doing so is medical negligence,” said Salvi, a veteran attorney whose firm has recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for victims of medical malpractice and hospital negligence.

If a doctor fails to wash his or her hands and spreads an infection, they need to be held accountable, and their patient or the patient’s family has a right to pursue compensation for any subsequent pain and suffering through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, Salvi said.

“Failure to practice the most basic hygiene cannot be abided among doctors and other medical professionals,” Salvi said. “If you or a loved one has been harmed by an infection contracted in a hospital or other medical center, you need to seek a legal expert in medical negligence to help you protect your rights.”

About Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C.

Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. is a leading Illinois medical malpractice law firm with offices in Chicago and Waukegan. The firm represents clients in matters involving emergency room errors, failure to diagnose, hospital negligence, physician error, birth injuries, surgical malpractice, anesthesia errors, organ puncture/perforation, post-operative and pre-operation malpractice and surgical complications. The firm’s success in medical negligence, personal injury and wrongful death cases features recoveries of more than $600 million on behalf of its clients, including more than 170 cases with a minimum result of $1 million. To learn more about Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., call (847) 249-1227 or use the firm’s online form.


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