When you go to the hospital, you expect that you’ll come out feeling better, or at least on the road to recovery. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day in the United States one out of every 25 hospital patients will end up being affected by a hospital-acquired infection.
These infections are a significant problem and result in approximately 100,000 deaths every year. Though there are some instances in which nothing can be done to prevent hospital-acquired infections from taking hold, in many cases, they are a result of a specific type of negligence on the part of the facility or its staff. This type of negligence is known as medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice is a type of negligence in which a doctor, health care professional, or medical facility at large provides treatment that falls short of generally accepted standards. In the case of a patient developing an infection while in the hospital, medical malpractice would be appropriate when the conditions at the hospital or the staff’s actions or inactions were the cause of the illness, and the illness resulted in real damage.
All hospital-acquired infections are infections that originate during the course of treatment in a hospital, but there are several ways that patients can get these infections. The most common source of a hospital-acquired infection is a medical device that is contaminated with germs or bacteria. The most common devices associated with these infections are:
Surgical procedures can also expose a patient to infection through unclean instruments, the surgical suite environment, or the people who are involved in the procedure.
Hospital patients are also vulnerable to bacteria such as C. diff, which can cause serious gastrointestinal illnesses, and MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant bacterium that is extremely difficult to treat.
Hospitals are filled with sick people, so the fact that germs are present is not in and of itself a sign of medical malpractice. However, the staff at a hospital has an obligation to be vigilant to protect vulnerable patients from exposure to these germs. When they fail to provide appropriate protections or to take the correct actions to combat germs, they put patients at risk for injury.
If you or someone you love has been significantly impacted by an infection acquired during a hospital stay, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation for your expenses and any damages that you suffered.
Contact Malamut & Associates today to set up a time for a consultation to discuss your situation.