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Infections and Medical Malpractice
Hospitals are full of people needing treatment for a variety of ailments. They share the same facilities, rooms, and equipment, breathe the same air, and receive care from the same medical professionals. This can make hospitals and other healthcare facilities breeding ground for a whole host of infections which in turn can cause additional health problems, surgical and post-surgical complications, and further treatment.
The risk of a patient acquiring a “healthcare-associated infection” (HAI) while receiving care is a significant one, and is one that hospitals and their staff are well aware of. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that:
- Approximately 1 out of every 31 hospitalized patients in the United States has an HAI at any given time.
- Patients acquired an estimated 687,000 HAIs in U.S. acute care hospitals in 2015.
- About 72,000 hospital patients who acquired an HAI during their hospital stay died during their hospitalizations.
According to the CDC, the estimated number of hospital patients who acquired infections during their stay included patients who suffered the following kinds of infections:
- Pneumonia: 157,500 patients
- Gastrointestinal illness: 123,100 patients
- Urinary tract infections: 93,300 patients
- Primary bloodstream infections: 71,900 patients
- Surgical site infections: 157,500 patients
- Other types of infections: 118,500 patients
As the CDC notes, many if most hospital infections are preventable. As such, in 2009 the CDC issued its National Action Plan to Prevent Health Care-Associated Infections: Road Map to Elimination. The plan identified specific actions that hospitals and healthcare workers can and should take to reduce the risk of HAIs.
These hospital infections are caused by bacteria and viruses that can thrive in a hospital, including on the equipment and instruments that come into contact with the body. That is why it is critical that hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities follow stringent policies and procedures when it comes to maintaining a sterile environment. When a patient develops an infection and suffers adverse health consequences because of a facility’s failure to follow the appropriate standards of hygiene and cleanliness, the facility’s negligence in failing to minimize the risk of infection can be the basis of a hospital malpractice lawsuit.
Contact Our Tampa Malpractice Attorneys
If you developed an infection after surgery or a hospital stay and experienced additional health problems as a result, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Such suits are extremely complicated, and many investigatory steps need to be taken before you can file a claim for compensation.
The experienced medical malpractice lawyers at the law firm of Alley, Clark & Greiwe are Board-certified trial attorneys and have been recognized by the legal community for their experience and knowledge in litigating claims for persons who have been victims of serious medical errors, including those who developed avoidable infections while under a physician’s care. Please call us at (800) 840-0977 or contact us online to arrange for your free case evaluation.