Infant deaths prompt readers to discuss German hospital hygiene | All of Deutsche Welle′s social media channels at a glance | DW | 25.08.2010
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Infant deaths prompt readers to discuss German hospital hygiene

The state of German healthcare is at the heart of the discussion since the tragic deaths of three infants at Mainz University Hospital. Our readers shared some of their own observations.

A sign for Childrens' Emergency Doctor sits on top of an ambulance outside the Mainz University Hospital

Readers weigh in for and against Germany's hospital standards

The following comments reflect the views of DW-WORLD.DE readers. Not all reader comments have been published. DW-WORLD.DE reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.

Third infant death heats debate about hygiene in German hospitals

I have lived in Germany for 15 years and during that time my family and I have been to a number of German hospitals, clinics and doctors for everything from back surgery to tonsil surgery, child birth, emergency room enrollments and the flu. The care has been outstanding and the medical staffs have been top notch.

My biggest observation concerns hygiene. I have had my blood taken by nurses who did not wear gloves. I have seen doctors remove bandages with their bare hands. This is not always the rule, but it has happened enough to make me acknowledge the systemic nature of this oversight.

Outside of this, I have never had a major concern that any facility does not meet or exceed standards in the US (my only comparative standard). I would definitely agree, however, that all medical facilities, wherever they may be, should ratchet up any-and-all policies put in place to avoid a recurrence of the Mainz tragedy. -- Scott, US

I spent three months in Germany late last year and my girlfriend at the time was a registered nurse. I visited the hospital where she worked on numerous occasions and from an outsider's point of view there were numerous signs informing everyone how important it was to maintain a clean and sterile working environment. I noted how much cleaner the hospital was compared to those back in Australia. -- Paul, Australia

Wow, that's sad. I'm glad Germany is taking lax standards seriously though. I think other countries should as well. Doctors get paid very well; the least they can do is obey the hygiene standards that would make a computer chip manufacturer laugh. Medicine doesn't have the highest hygiene standards, electronics does. -- Fergal via Facebook

It was long ago, but I went in with measles as an adult and was there for two weeks. It was different from my experiences in the US and Japan, but I was well treated, pampered by the orderlies (who pitied my bad vacation luck), and left with ...a bill that was only a minor fraction of what it would have been in the US. My only complaint was the bells from the church across the street from my room. They were so …odd - a rather avant garde sound to them that was not particularly pleasant. -- Rickford via Facebook

Two babies dead, five critical from bacteria at German hospital

Apparently, they did the test after giving the infusion to the babies. Daily lab tests should have been done before using the equipment. How can such a simple requirement be missed? It is also an unlucky situation that the babies were already in intensive care with weaker immune systems than that of a healthy baby. I send my deepest sympathy to the parents of unlucky babies. -- Nevres, Turkey

Compiled by Stuart Tiffen
Editor: Martin Kuebler

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