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Hospital negligence might have infected thousands of children

Unfortunately, many Illinois parents have spent endless hours at a child's bedside in a children's hospital. They are desperate to know that their children will be okay and will be able to return to a normal life. Hospital negligence can dash those hopes and leave parents angry, confused and fearful for their children's lives.

A children's hospital in the northwest recently put thousands of parents on edge by announcing that thousands of former children patients needed to be tested for diseases such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV. It was discovered that the hospital was improperly reprocessing surgical equipment in its surgery center. Blood-borne pathogens may not have been correctly eradicated from the equipment and could have been passed to upwards of 12,000 children.

The Seattle Children's Hospital reported that debris was found on equipment used at the hospital's Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center after it was put through the reprocessing procedure. Not much detail was provided regarding the issue except to say that the error occurred when the instruments were hand washed. The remainder of the process was supposedly done correctly, and the mistake was fixed. The hospital goes on to say that the probability of any patient being infected should be low because children do not generally carry these diseases.

The odds may be good, but when it comes to a child's life, most parents would not take the risk. If even one child contracted a debilitating or deadly disease due to hospital negligence, it would be one too many. Hopefully, Illinois parents will never have to endure this situation, but if they do, they may file a medical malpractice claim in order to hold the appropriate parties responsible.

Source: outpatientsurgery.net, "Dirty Surgical Equipment May Have Been Used On 12,000 Pediatric Patients", Aug. 27, 2015

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