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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    Health and Safety News

    Stethoscopes in hospital infection link

    By David Brown on March 4, 2014

    The number of people claiming compensation for a hospital infection may be just the tip of the iceberg, new research suggests.

    Scientists have concluded that filthy stethoscopes may be helping to spread dangerous bugs around doctors’ surgeries and hospitals.

    One stethoscope was shown to be more contaminated with bacteria than the palm of a doctor’s hand, after being used to listen to 71 patients. The potentially fatal superbug MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) was one of the bacteria spreading from patients.

    The results imply that stethoscopes should be disinfected as thoroughly as a physician’s hands, claim the researchers.

    Infected patients may be able to claim

    About a tenth of hospital patients acquire some kind of infection and some may be able to claim compensation.

    Dr Didier Pittet is from the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre on Patient Safety at University of Geneva Hospitals in Switzerland.

    His crew undertook research in which 71 patients were examined by one of three doctors using sterile gloves and a stethoscope. Various parts of the doctors’ hands and the stethoscope were monitored for bacteria after each examination.

    The part of the stethoscope that is pressed onto a patient’s skin was more severely contaminated than the doctors’ hands, bar the fingertips.

    The stethoscope tube also was covered in more bacteria than the back of the doctors’ hand.

    Dr Pittet said: “From infection control and patient safety perspectives, the stethoscope should be regarded as an extension of the physician’s hands and be disinfected after every patient contact.”

    Claim through Accident Advice Helpline

    Accident Advice Helpline can help people win compensation if they have
    suffered an infection while in hospital.

    Accident Advice Helpline is a national law firm with specialist solicitors and offers a 100% ‘no win, no fee*’ solution with friendly, helpful staff and a 24/7 free legal advice hotline.

    So check out Accident Advice Helpline’s website, which offers an informative blog. This includes advice on what to do if you get infected in hospital.

    Source: BBC News

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    Date Published: March 4, 2014

    Author: David Brown

    Category: News

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    No-Win No-Fee: *Subject to insurance costs. Fee payable if case not pursued at client's request.