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Mold Closes Rooms in Seattle Hospitals

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on September 1, 2019

In an effort to contain an outbreak of Aspergillus mold, officials at the Seattle Children’s Hospital have closed all 14 main operating rooms at the facility. While Aspergillus is considered to be a common form of mold and is ingested almost daily by most people, patients with weakened immune systems are much more at risk for developing infections

The decision to close every single operating room came after industrial hygienists found the hospital’s air-handling systems to be inadequate. In order to resolve this issue, officials have implemented many improvements to the facility, including a new humidification system, air handler, and other equipment to ensure proper sanitation.

Hospital Negligence Can Be Medical Malpractice

While the primary reason for closing the operating rooms is to make sure patients are protected, Seattle Children’s Hospital is also doing so in order to prevent a possible civil lawsuit for hospital negligence. Hospital negligence is a form of medical malpractice, and it’s rooted in the idea that hospital staff are not allowed to deviate from the accepted standard of care when providing medical treatment – including the sanitation of their facilities. When they do not follow the accepted standard of care, it opens the door to potential litigation.

What Are Common Causes of Malpractice?

One of the most common causes for a medical malpractice claim is when a medical professional wrongfully diagnoses a patient. This can be catastrophic for many reasons; notably, that an incorrect diagnosis will affect the patient’s individual treatment program. When patients receive the wrong type of medication for their actual conditions, there can be disastrous consequences.

Recently, researchers have conducted various studies to determine the most common causes of medical malpractice cases, and how hospitals can avoid them in the future. In a study done by Stanford University’s Medical Center, experts found that when physicians offer a simple apology and a straightforward explanation for any medical errors that occurred, the rate of medical malpractice claims decreases significantly.

In essence, when hospitals take proactive steps to communicate with their patients, they end up paying less in damages.

An Apology Is Not Always Enough

Of course, even when a hospital is clear about what went wrong and offers you an apology, you still need and deserve compensation following a dangerous medical error. That’s where we come in. At Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., our team takes the time to help you understand your legal options and guide you towards the best possible outcome. To learn more, contact us at our office at (425) 228-3860.

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