Hospital-acquired infections (HAI) can quickly progress into severe medical conditions that become life-threatening. When there is a delay in diagnosing an HAI or if it is left untreated, the infection can advance to septic shock, which is often fatal. As many as 70 percent of HAIs are preventable when device maintenance and proper hygiene protocols are followed. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen, and patients are injured or die as a result.
When a patient develops an HAI due to medical negligence on the part of a hospital or medical professional, it may be a case of medical malpractice. In those cases, the patient or the patient’s family may be entitled to compensation for the damages suffered.
Anyone who visits a medical office or hospital is at risk for contracting a hospital-acquired infection. However, some situations may increase your risk:
The liability of a case that involves a hospital-acquired infection depends on where and how you contracted the infection. Liability can fall on various medical professionals or entities. Those responsible for an HAI may include:
Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. The medical professionals in a hospital interact with many patients every day. To reduce the spread of infection, illnesses, and disease, they must adhere to strict cleaning protocols. That means thoroughly washing their hands before and after contact with each patient. Additionally, doctors can be held liable for HAI cases when they fail to diagnose and treat an HAI, are delayed in diagnosis and treatment of an HAI, or fail to properly monitor a patient who develops an HAI as a result. Any of these types of negligence can result in sepsis, septic shock, or death.
Hospitals or other medical facilities. All medical facilities are required to maintain a strict standard of cleanliness throughout their environments. That includes the air and water filtration systems in all buildings. They must also have sufficient and secure storage rooms and proper equipment to clean and dispose of medical tools.
Manufacturers of medical devices. In some cases, an HAI can be caused by contaminated or defective medical devices. If a medical instrument or device is poorly designed or doesn’t have adequate cleaning instructions, it may result in patients contracting infections. When this happens, it is the medical device manufacturer that can be held liable.
If you or a loved one contracted an infection while in the hospital that was not properly diagnosed or treated promptly, you must speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney about your case.
Hospitals are busy settings, and you may have seen various doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals while you were there. That makes it challenging to trace your HAI back to its original source. The first step is proving that your infection occurred while you were in the hospital. Doing so requires the help of a legal team that includes lawyers and doctors. They will be able to investigate your case thoroughly and determine whether negligence was the cause of your HAI.
At Ross Feller Casey, we have a team that can help you. If negligence played any part in your case, we can help you and your family get the compensation that you deserve for the damages you’ve suffered. We have physicians on staff to review your medical records. We have the track record and resources to fight for you in or out of the courtroom, just as we have for clients with cases like yours.
Contact our office today to schedule your free case review with one of our medical malpractice attorneys. Our cases are handled on a contingency basis, so you don’t have to pay anything until there is a financial recovery.
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