Researchers are looking at a surprising possible cause of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the serious antibiotic-resistant germ that has been associated with hospital stays. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that MRSA causes more fatalities in the United States yearly than from AIDS. The suspected cause is hospital curtains found around hospital beds.
It is a foundational principle of modern healthcare that some micro-organisms are pathogens that can cause infection in the body. While part of the task of medicine is ensuring protection from pathogens, infections, such as the fatal MRSA bacteria, can lead to these and other reactions, including:
- Chest pain
- Muscle aches
- Shortness of breath
- Skin rash
Working in a hospital, while it may seem antiseptic and clean, is no guarantee that MRSA pathogens cannot get to you.
Recent research conducted at an academic hospital in Winnipeg, Manitoba, tested freshly washed polyester-cotton curtains placed in patients’ rooms. When curtains became obviously soiled, they were replaced with fresh ones. Every day, the curtains were tested for the growing amount of contaminants. After two weeks, most curtains tested positive for MRSA. By the third week, MRSA exceeded all acceptable measures. What this research suggests is that hospital curtains may bear responsibility for an infection that has ruined and ended many lives.
Privacy curtains pose a serious risk for cross-contamination of patients and hospital workers because they are frequently touched but rarely changed. It is expected that hospitals and nursing homes will make cleaning or replacing of curtains a high priority in the future.
What Can Hospitals Do?
Curtain-based pathogens are a problem that hospitals have not been keenly made aware of. However, they are doing everything they can to prevent the spread of MRSA. They have spent billions to address contagion issues elsewhere within their walls. They must face the necessity of keeping these simple drapes from being a source of infections. The Winnipeg research concluded that hospitals must clean or replace privacy curtains every two weeks. This recommendation imposes one costlier task to keep workers safe.
Working in a hospital is a major risk for infection. Infection claims of workers can be filed under Workers’ Compensation and it is wise to work with a law firm familiar with these types of claims.
Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Advocate for Ill Workers
If you have been afflicted by antibiotic-resistant infections from working in a hospital, you may be due compensation. Talk to a Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation lawyer at DiTomaso Law to obtain the compensation you deserve. For a free case evaluation, call us at 856-414-0010 or contact us online at your earliest convenience. With an office in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we work with clients across the region, including the areas of Mt. Holly, Camden County, and South Jersey.