Even with cleaning procedures and sterilization protocols, hospitals can be a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. Hospital-acquired infections are common for patients, especially those with compromised immune systems. It should not come as a surprise that a medical board would look down upon a surgical procedure performed on a back porch.
Back Porch Surgery in Missouri
John Ure, a physician and surgeon in western Missouri had his medical license revoked after performing an amputation on a patient’s toe on the back porch of his office and machine shed. The Missouri State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts took away his license to practice after the 2016 procedure which was done in a “non-sterile environment.”
According to Ure, the amputation was done for a friend with a gangrenous toe. The friend was reportedly scared of hospitals and refused to go to one to get his toe amputated. Ure called the amputation, “absolutely perfectly sterile, out in the bright sunshine and fresh air.”
The porch amputation was not the only reason the board took away Ure’s license. The board also discussed improper painkiller prescriptions to two patients. Under the terms of the revocation, Ure can apply for reinstatement in two years.
Unsterile Conditions Can Cause Infection
A hospital-acquired infection (HAI) involves patients developing an infection due to exposure to some type of contamination in a health care setting. These infections can occur because of improperly washed hands of a medical professional, contaminated bed linens, bacteria in water droplets in the air, or unsterilized surgical instruments. Some examples of HAI infections include:
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
- Clostridium difficile (C-diff)
- Staphylococcus aureus
- Legionnaires disease
- Vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE)
- Puerperal fever
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions, an estimated 1.7 million cases of hospital-acquired infections develop each year and result in 99,000 deaths annually. When an infection is caused by deviation from standard medical protocols, any injury may be caused by medical malpractice.
The body can be especially vulnerable to infection during surgery. The normally sterile conditions inside the body are exposed to the outside and any bacteria, virus, or fungus in the air, on a surgical instrument, or on the surgeon’s hands can be introduced into the body.
Certain risk factors may increase the risk of infection or the severity of damage caused by the infection, this includes individuals over the age of 55 and those with a compromised immune system.
Hospitals Spreading Infection Through Unsanitary Conditions
In 2017, the federal government imposed fines on 751 hospital facilities for problems involving patient infections and injuries. Those hospitals suffered a financial penalty of losing 1% of Medicare payments over the federal fiscal year. Maryland was exempt from these penalties because the state has a different Medicare payment arrangement.
If a family member suffered an infection while in a hospital, nursing home, or care facility, the infection may have been caused by medical negligence. At Gilman & Bedigian, we are committed to helping patients and families who have been injured by medical malpractice to understand their legal rights and help obtain compensation. To speak with a member of our personal injury team, fill out an online case evaluation form or call (800) 529-6162 today.