People often think of hospitals as a place to get better or undergo intensive medical care when they need it the most. However, hospitals can be a source of injury and illness for some of the people who stay in them.

The busier and more crowded a hospital becomes, the more likely it is for lack of staff or close proximity to those with infectious disease to have a negative impact on the quality of care or overall health of others staying in the facility. Some people may experience significant medical complications as a result of pathogen exposure or other forms of staff negligence while staying in the hospital.

Overworked staff may not engage in adequate hygiene practices

Some of the most virulent and dangerous pathogens on the planet are endemic in hospital spaces. That includes methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), an aggressive bacteria that is resistant to treatment with mainstream antibiotics.

Although many people carry MRSA in their nose, far fewer people develop systemic infections. Among those who do develop serious MRSA infections, medical facilities or hospital staff are often the conduits by which the bacteria infect a new person. Nurses and other care providers in a hospital may need to see patient after patient without any break, which can lead to pathogens spreading.

Staff should make a point of carefully washing their hands, changing their gloves, and even changing their scrubs in the event of exposure to pathogens in one patient’s room. Failing to do that could mean transporting pathogens from one patient to another and potentially leaving the second patient at risk of a serious illness with catastrophic medical consequences.

Lack of timely response could have life or death consequences

Nurses often have to deal with finicky or unpleasant patients who routinely request support and care throughout the day. It is the job of these medical professionals to respond to patient calls in a timely manner and ensure that people have their needs met.

Whether there simply aren’t enough professionals on staff to provide adequate care at a particular time or staff chose to ignore or fail to notice the call from a patient in distress, the delay in their response could be the difference between total recovery and significant medical consequences. Medical issues like stroke and heart attack necessitate timely, rapid response to mitigate permanent damage. When the staff doesn’t have time to respond to each call, the risk of neglecting real needs increases.

When negligence, understaffing or lack of hygiene results in medical consequences for you or someone you love, the issues you experience may be adequate reason to consider a medical malpractice claim against the facility or medical care providers involved.