The statistics are unsettling.
On any given day, 1 in 25 hospital patients has at least one infection that they acquired while receiving treatment at a hospital, a recent survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. And each year, an estimated 75,000 patients die in U.S. hospitals as a result of those infections.
While the rate of hospital-acquired infections has declined in recent years, the exposure to the bacterium and viruses that cause the problem are still too often the result of negligence on the part of the medical institution.
Ross Feller Casey, one of the nation’s premiere medical malpractice law firms, has won numerous multi-million cases on behalf of individuals who were seriously injured as a result of a hospital acquired infection.
The firm is actively investigating new lawsuits based on a cluster of cases in which open heart surgery patients contracted a deadly bacterial infection, Nontuberculous Mycobacteria, or NTM, at WellSpring York Hospital and Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Combined, those hospitals have warned more than 3,600 patients about possible exposure, and, to date, five have died as a result of the infection.
To learn more about those cases, see:
The problem, unfortunately, could be far broader than those two hospitals.
At issue is a machine manufactured by Sorin Group that heats and cools a patient during heart surgery. If not cleaned properly, the machine, known as the Sorin Heater Cooler 3T, could expose the patient to the NTM bacteria.
The machines in question are widely used across the nation. In fact, the Pennsylvania Department of Health estimates that about 80 hospitals in the state perform open heart surgeries and use the Sorin machine.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had received at least 32 reports of patients infected as a result of the devices, and the agency has warned hospitals about the continued use of the machines.
Hospital-acquired infections, also known as nosocomial infections, are caused in part because hospital patients – many of whom have compromised immune systems – are in close proximity to one another. But in many cases, patients are allowed to encounter bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses because medical staff do not follow proper procedures, including disinfection protocols.
Types of serious hospital-acquired infections:
- Staph Infections and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, or MRSA
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Bloodstream infections
- Surgical site infections
If you or a loved one acquired a serious infection while at a hospital or during surgery, you should contact one of Ross Feller Casey’s experienced hospital infection lawyers now for a free case evaluation.
As with all our cases, we operate on a contingency basis, so there will never be a cost to you unless a financial recovery is made in your case.