'Donning and doffing' errors could lead to medical malpractice

Many people in Arizona may be familiar with the troubling issue of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the context of overprescribing antibiotics for illnesses that do not necessitate them, such as viruses. However, what they may not realize is that antibiotic-resistant bacteria can be spread when physicians, surgeons and nurses make mistakes taking off their gowns and gloves.

According to one study, medical equipment and clothing can become contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria if a medical professional makes a "donning and doffing" error when taking off protective garments, specifically when treating infectious patients. For example, they may not take off their gown and gloves as a single unit, thus contaminating themselves and spreading bacteria to other surfaces.

If a patient is sickened by antibiotic-resistant bacteria due to a mistake a medical professional makes in the donning and doffing process, it could be a long time before that patient recovers, if they recover at all. Patients in such situations may want to determine if they have the grounds to pursue a medical malpractice claim. Such claims can help a patient pursue the compensation they need to be made whole again following the medical professional's negligence.

Ultimately, many mistakes made in a hospital setting are preventable if physicians meet their duty of care. It may not seem like the simple act of putting on or removing protective garments could be problematic, but if doing so spreads bacteria that sicken patients, these patients may find that their lives have been forever changed due to the damages they suffered. When this happens, patients may want to seek the legal guidance needed to determine if they have grounds to pursue a medical malpractice claim.

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