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Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Filed as Hospital Infections Spread

Claims based on hospital infections are becoming the focus of many medical malpractice suits. Recently a jury awarded $13.5 million in a medical malpractice case to the family of woman who died of an infection caused by flesh-eating bacteria that she contracted during cancer treatment. Then a woman reached a $16 million medical malpractice settlement alleging that the hospital failed to detect necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating bacteria, before and after she gave birth which caused her to lose three limbs and several organs. The Centers for Disease Control has estimated that more than 2 million hospital-aquired infections occur annually which results in 90,000 deaths. However, the rate of patient infection is “close to zero” when health care personnel comply with strict protocols governing the washing of hands, instruments and hospital rooms. The CDC is responding to this epidemic by raising the standard of care that applies to hospitals in preventing infections. For example, an ambulance IV should be switched to a new one upon arrival at the hospital. By following these guidelines, a hospital can decrease its risk of medical malpractice lawsuits. To read the full story, click here.