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A Catalog of Common Bacterial and Viral Infections Contracted in Hospitals (Part 2)

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 22-Nov-2017

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.

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