The good news is, hospitals are improving at not spreading dangerous bacteria and viruses to patients. The bad news? Outpatient clinics—where an increasing number of patients are seeking care because the clinics are typically cheaper and more convenient than hospitals—are getting worse. Outpatient clinics are not as tightly regulated or closely inspected as hospitals. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the past decade more than 125,000 outpatient-clinic patients had to be notified of potential exposure to disease from unsafe injection practices alone.
That’s particularly concerning for the more than one million cancer patients who receive chemotherapy or radiation treatments at outpatient oncology clinics each year. These patients’ immune systems are compromised by their illness; nearly 60,000 a year must be hospitalized with an infection. The CDC last month launched a campaign to reduce the rate of infection among cancer patients.
“Cancer patients are often struggling to maintain their health and these preventable infections can undermine their progress,” CDC epidemiologist Joseph Perz told the Wall Street Journal. “Not all outpatient providers understand or recognize the importance of infection control.”
If you have been harmed by an outpatient clinic’s lax safety procedures, contact Hodes Milman for a free case evaluation. We’re aggressive personal injury and medical malpractice lawyers based in Orange County, serving all of California. We have the experience to take on the medical industry and have achieved multi-million dollar verdicts for our clients.