Despite being a haven for the sick, hospitals can often be breeding grounds
for a wide range of bacterial and viral infections, many of which are
preventable. Let’s continue our overview into some of the most common
diseases you can contract in a hospital.
Mycobacterium abscessus. Related to the bacteria that cause tuberculosis and leprosy, M. abscessus
typically causes infections in the soft tissue under the skin, but it
can also infect the lungs of people susceptible to lung disease. Not often
transmitted person to person, this bacterium most commonly resides in
water, dust or dirt. If you contract it in a hospital, it’s most
likely due to contaminated water or dust found on medical devices or even
in medicines you receive.
Acinetobacter baumannii. Perhaps ironically, you’re more likely to get sick from this virus
in an intensive care unit than anywhere else inside or outside the hospital—not
because it doesn’t exist elsewhere, but because it’s mainly
harmless to healthy people. This bacterium preys on people with weakened
immune systems, causing a variety of symptoms that may include wound infections,
urinary tract infections, pneumonia and meningitis. It’s also resistant
to many common antibiotics.
E. coli. We hear about E. coli most often with contaminated produce, but in fact
strains of it are quite common—and quite harmless—when they
exist in our digestive tract. This bacterium is the most common cause
of urinary tract infections, but it can also cause pneumonia or gastroenteritis,
and even meningitis in newborns. In some cases, symptoms can be life-threatening.
Hepatitis. With the exception of Hepatitis-A (which occurs rarely in hospital settings),
hepatitis is more commonly associated with medical negligence than other
bacteria. Hepatitis transmits through blood and body fluids, so if you
contract the disease while in a hospital, the most likely culprit is a
contaminated needle or syringe.
If you are suffering from an illness contracted in a hospital, and you
believe negligence or malpractice may be an issue, our
Washington D.C. medical malpractice attorneys can help. Call our offices to learn more.