When you go to the hospital you expect to get proper care to resolve your medical condition. However, recent studies have found that some patients are actually acquiring infections at hospitals, causing serious illness or even death. According to the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 1 in 25 hospital patients contracts an infection while in the facility. This amounts to more than 720,000 patients a year. While not all of the infections contracted are serious, some are deadly. It is estimated that 75,000 people died because of hospital acquired infections in 2011 alone, which equates to more than 200 deaths per day. This number seems staggering, yet it may be growing.
Types of Hospital-Acquired Infections
People expect a hospital to be a sterile and safe place. Yet there are a large number of infections that people get after arriving at the facility. About half of the infections are contracted inside the ICU while the other half are contracted in the general care rooms or as a result of surgery. The most common infections that occur in hospitals include:
· Urinary Tract Infections (catheter use)
· Bloodstream Infections · Surgical Site Infections · Clostridium Difficile Infections (C-Diff)
Another, less common infection is MRSA. MRSA is an antibiotic resistant infection that can be deadly. It is generally associated with hospitals. Patients who are elderly or those in a weakened state may contract infections more easily. Unfortunately, many hospital patients are less able to fight off these types of dangerous infections.
Immediate and Aggressive Treatment is Necessary
When a patient contracts an infection while at a hospital, it is imperative that they receive immediate diagnosis and treatment. Symptoms may be difficult to notice when patients are already being treated for other illnesses. However, patients must be properly cared for. This is especially true of those who are at a higher risk for infection than others. For example, an older patient with a catheter must be monitored regularly to ensure that an infection is not starting. Some signs of infection are fever, fatigue, diarrhea and muscle aches. If the infection begins at a wound site the area may appear red, may ooze, and could be warm to the touch. A qualified medical professional should be checking for these signs in every patient.
Medical Malpractice in Hospitals
Medical professionals are required to provide a high standard of care. Because they are trained and experienced they are expected to know more than the average person about medical care. When this level of care is not provided and a serious injury occurs, the result may be due to the negligence of the providers. Hospital acquired infections should not occur and are preventable. If the infection is not quickly treated and stopped, it can cause serious illness or death. If you or a loved one is the victim of medical malpractice you are entitled to receive payment for your medical expenses and other associated costs. Contact the skilled attorneys at Levin & Perconti to discuss your case today.
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