Hospitals Aren’t Being Penalized For Health and Safety Violations
Hospitals are supposed to be safe places for patients, but oftentimes they also present serious risks. Hospitals are supposed to abide by state and federal health and safety guidelines, but the reality is many fall quite short. This is hardly surprising because many hospitals aren’t being penalized for health and safety violations, which is putting patients in danger.
In 2015, a hospital in Florida was found to have a major sewage leak in its post-surgical orthopedic wing and an infestation of live rats. For these violations, the hospital was only fined a measly $4,000. But the Florida hospital is not the only health institution suffering from sewage problems. The MedStar Washington Hospital Center in D.C. was under investigation this past September for multiple sewage leaks.
The hospital has been dealing with sewage leaks for at least a year and one of the leaks actually occurred in an operating room. This is incredibly dangerous because bacteria from the sewage are in close proximity to patients with open surgical wounds, greatly increasing the risk of infection. The Washington hospital has not yet been given a fine and is instead working on corrective actions.
Instances like these are why many hospitals just don’t bother keeping up with standards. Most hospitals receive advance notice of any inspections, and if any infractions are found during inspections, it’s often cheaper to incur a fine (if any) than implement standards that would prevent the infraction.
Although hospitals are meant to help people, many operators prefer to protect their bottom line. With little to no repercussions, hospitals aren’t adopting health and safety standards that could prevent harm to patients. This might leave patients feeling powerless against negligent hospitals, but patients are still entitled to a certain standard of care. Any hospital that provides care below this standard can be held responsible.
Hospital Negligence Attorneys
Many patients are afraid to file a lawsuit against a hospital or healthcare facility, but the reality is that lawsuits are the only way to help change hospitals’ mentality about health and safety protocols. If you or someone you love suffered from a hospital-acquired infection or any other type of hospital negligence, Lopez McHugh LLP can help you protect your rights and pursue compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.