Ask for nose spray to lessen infection risk if you're having surgery

Sometimes the simplest solutions are “right under our nose.”
The risk of infection is one of the most common and well-known risks associated with any surgery. For years, doctors and hospitals have cooked up various ways to lessen infection risk and eradicate the bacteria and bugs that seem to thrive in hospitals and operating rooms.

Until now, these efforts have only marginally reduced the rate of infections following surgery. The staph bacterium has been particularly troublesome.

How can the risk of infection be reduced?

Research shows that the staff bacterium is the most common cause of infections following surgery. Now, researchers have discovered a safe and easy method to dramatically reduce surgical site infections by 40 to 60 percent.
These findings, published in the January 7, 2010 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine reveal that bathing patients with an antiseptic followed by squirting a medicated ointment up a patient’s noses can dramatically cut the rate of dangerous staph infections following surgery.

Can we really lessen infection risk?

At last, we have a simple solution for this difficult problem. Please remember, patients should be their own “patient safety advocate”. Speak up for your health. The next time you or a loved one requires surgery, ask your surgeon for the nose spray and bath. Your risk of infection will be reduced dramatically.

If your surgeon won’t agree with your request, you may want to find a new surgeon. That’s your right. Better yet, print out this blog and the article from the New England Journal of Medicine and give it to your surgeon. Chances are, you’ll get the bath and the nose spray.

What if the worst should happen?

We hope your surgery is a success and infection free. But, if something does go wrong during or following a surgery, call a New Jersey medical malpractice attorney who can answer your questions on surgical errors and complications.
You and your loved ones deserve safety and proper care. Our experienced civil trial lawyers are always available to help. Call (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey or (215) 567-2380 in Pennsylvania.

Patient rights protection is getting major help from a new ad campaign

Patient rights protection might not be the first thing you think about when you or a loved one has to go to a hospital. You may not always need it, but when you do, you’re sure glad it’s there.

Why is patient rights protection important?

To explain why patient rights protection is important, let me share what may be a shocking statistic. Fact: Research shows that each year, 98,000 lives will be lost to preventable medical errors. Do you know what the keyword is in that sentence? It’s “preventable” and it means that these medical errors that cause wrongful death can be avoided. These are errors that should not happen and these deaths should not happen.
If we can improve patient rights protection, we can do two things. We can both improve health care and decrease the number of deaths from preventable medical errors.

Is anyone fighting for patient rights protection?

Yes, certified civil trial lawyers are fighting for patient rights protection. The American Association for Justice, formerly called the Association of Trial Lawyers in America, has recently spent its own resources to advocate and fight for patient rights protection. The goal? Make health care more affordable for everyone.

In order to make a difference, 30 public service “billboards” that will be displayed at Union Station Metro in Washington, D.C. during the entire month of December. The campaign has already gotten a ton of positive press coverage. You can read about the effort on Politico and on NationalJournal.com.
Each ad will tell a story of someone who was hurt by medical negligence. This is an investment of $100,000, but it shows how important health care is to medical malpractice attorneys. New Jersey attorneys see cases with surgical errors and medical mistakes all too often. In addition to fighting for their clients, they’re fighting for all Americans to get better health care.

What about tort reform? Will it help with patient rights protection?

Tort reform will not help with patient rights protection. Think about who’s pushing tort reform — insurance lobbyists and corporate nursing homes. Why? They’re trying to make more money. Tort reform takes away rights, it doesn’t support them. It won’t help improve health care; it will just make things worse.

What if I’m not being protected?

Talk to a medical malpractice attorney. At the Mininno Law Office, we have experienced New Jersey attorneys who have dealt with these cases all too often. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have or offer any help you need. Call (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey or (215) 567-2380 in Pennsylvania.

Visiting a nursing home requires observation and communication

Visiting a nursing home is not an easy thing to do. The truth is, one visit can have huge implications for someone you love. You can learn so much just by spending a little time at a home, talking with staff and absorbing the atmosphere.

When visiting a nursing home, you should have a sharp eye and be very observant for anything that stands out — good or bad.

When visiting a nursing home, what should I look for?

When you’re visiting a nursing home, you want to gauge the morale of residents and staff, but most importantly, you want to know about one word: care. How are residents cared for? What’s the quality of care? Do employees truly care about the residents or are they just doing their job? This is really the best way to help you choose.
Let’s face it. It is difficult to care for our own loved ones, who may have enormous needs and medical problems. It takes a special person to be able to care for the elderly on a daily basis. Look at staff members. Do they seem like they really care about the patients; or are they just collecting a paycheck and doing a job?

These are all important questions to ask yourself during your visit. It may help to bring a pen and a pad. Ideally, you’ll gather tons of information that you can’t possibly remember, so write everything down so you don’t forget. A checklist is one way to approach note-taking. We suggest you go to Medicare.gov, which has a great nursing home checklist.

What else should I do when visiting a nursing home?

We’ve discussed observing the care that residents get when you’re visiting a nursing home. Observing is just step one. Step two? Talk. Communicate. Talk to the employees. But most importantly, LISTEN to what they say. Do they refer to the residents by name, or call them “clients and patients.” Spend time with residents as well. Ask employees to introduce you to residents.

Here’s an even better idea: Talk to other visitors — families who have residents there. Call in advance to find out when visitors are most likely to be there, and then talk to them. Exchange e-mail addresses and get the real scoop. Ask them what they think of the place. Ask them about the care their relatives are getting.

Although this may be tough, you should bring your loved one if possible. They may be reluctant to interact or even go to the home, but you can learn by watching how the staff treats them on the visit to the nursing home. If possible, let your loved one engage with other residents. Watch staff interact with him or her. See what happens.
This step is crucial. Many nursing homes are businesses that want your Medicaid and Medicare dollars, so if you don’t look carefully and find the right home, your may increase the chances of your loved one becoming a victim of nursing home abuse, neglect or exploitation.

If such a case should arise, though we hope it never does, please contact a nursing home abuse lawyer immediately. At the Mininno Law Office, our certified civil trial lawyers are experienced with these cases and would be happy to help you. Call (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey or (215) 567-2380 in Pennsylvania.

Are nursing homes safe for our loved ones?

Are nursing homes safe?

If you have to decide whether to move a loved one to a nursing home, you should ask yourself, this question: “Are nursing homes safe?” The answer is yes and no: We would like to believe that all nursing homes offer proper attention and care, but sadly, our experience and the statistics show that this is not true for every case. Some nursing homes are safer than others — but no place is truly safe because you are entrusting your loved ones to the care of the strangers who staff these nursing homes.

According to the American Psychological Association’s Office on Aging, “every year an estimated 2.1 million older Americans are victims of physical, psychological, or other forms of abuse and neglect. For every case of elder abuse and neglect that is reported to authorities, experts estimate that there may be as many as five cases that have not been reported”. This is a brutal statistic.

Why are some nursing homes unsafe?

Some nursing homes are unsafe because of elder exploitation, abuse and neglect. Why does this happen? First, remember that nursing homes are mostly profit-driven entities. The less they can pay staff, the more they can pay the shareholders. I’d like you to think about staff in particular. Here are five reasons for abuse:

1. Not enough employees — one less staff member means more profits
2. Under-qualified employees — the less experienced, the lower the pay, the greater the profits
3. Overworked employees — when staff have to do more with less, they become less caring
4. Underpaid employees — when a staff member is making minimum wage, the caring incentive is decreased
5. Stressed and/or frustrated employees — the above factors adversely affect even the most dedicated and caring nursing home workers

A nursing home corporation is driven by economics. The corporate profits are increased by every dollar that can be saved on the number and quality of staff members. These are just some answers for the question, are nursing homes safe? Can you think of any other answers?

What should I do if I suspect abuse?

Contact a nursing home abuse lawyer right away.
At the Mininno Law Office, we have New Jersey certified civil trial lawyers available to help you. Our NJ nursing home abuse lawyers are experienced in nursing home neglect and abuse cases. They can assist you with anything you need. Call (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey or (215) 567-2380 in Pennsylvania.