Can Medical Negligence Cause a Hospital-Acquired Infection?

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 7-Sep-2017

Statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that 1.7 million patients per year develop infections in US hospitals. An average of 99,000 of these patients will lose their lives. In fact, hospital-acquired infections are a leading cause of patient deaths in the US.

There are some instances where hospitals could have done more to prevent and treat these infections. In some cases, medical negligence is the culprit when a patient develops a serious infection or possibly even passes away from that infection. Common reasons this may happen include:

  • Poor sanitation: All hospitals in the US have sanitation policies to prevent the spread of infections. For example, hospital staff may be required to frequently wash their hands with antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer. Patients may develop infections when hospital staff do not properly sterilize surgical equipment. Infections are also possible when debris makes contact with open wounds.
  • Delayed treatment: Nurses and other hospital staff may need to check patients for wounds to ensure they do not develop infections. Patients who are incapable of movement can develop bedsores, which may become infected with bacteria.
  • Failure to inform at-risk patients: Some patients have a higher risk than others of developing infections. Patients with compromised immune systems, such as those undergoing chemotherapy, have a heightened risk of infection.

Was Your Hospital-Acquired Infection Caused by Medical Negligence?

The types of bacteria that cause many of these infections, such as staphylococcus aureus, can be found on most surfaces in hospitals. In many cases, it can be difficult for patients or their family members to determine when medical negligence has occurred. However, an experienced medical malpractice attorney may be able to help determine the cause of your or a loved one’s hospital-acquired infection.

The Washington DC medical malpractice attorneys at Regan Zambri Long, PLLC have decades of combined experience fighting for the victims of medical negligence.

Categories: Medical Malpractice
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