Infections that occur in the hospital can be life-threatening. If hospital-acquired infections are not diagnosed and properly treated promptly, they may result in severe symptoms, long-term medical complications, organ failures, septic shock, and, ultimately death. That is why the policies and procedures in hospitals emphasize cleanliness and sterility in all surgical, treatment, examination, and patient rooms. It’s also the reason that healthcare professionals are required to wash their hands regularly and thoroughly. If they fail to do so, it puts patients’ lives at risk and can lead to medical malpractice lawsuits.
Hospital-acquired infections (HAI) are bacterial or fungal infections that develop in patients in a hospital setting. They are also called nosocomial infections. The transmission of HAIs usually occurs when medical staff doesn’t practice hygiene procedures correctly. However, other hospital negligence and product defects may also play a part.
Some of the most common types of hospital-acquired infections include:
Many HAIs can be treated and do not result in long-term complications when detected early and treated correctly. However, hospital-acquired infections can progress very fast, especially if the patient has a compromised immune system weak from another illness or recent surgery.
Hospital-acquired infections can be caused in a number of ways, including:
Why Are Hospital Acquired Infections So Dangerous?
When you acquire an infection in the hospital, it can progress quickly into a life-threatening situation. Untreated infections can become septic. Sepsis is a body’s response to infection that involves the bloodstream and may end fatally as septic shock. While most HAI cases are completely preventable with proper hygiene and device maintenance, sepsis and other complicating infections are among the leading causes of injuries and death following surgeries.
Determining liability in hospital-acquired infection cases can be difficult, even when the patient has suffered serious injuries or death. Some cases of infection in a hospital setting are not a result of negligence by a medical professional or the hospital itself. Instead, they are simply a negative complication of an illness or procedure, even though they may be devastating. However, there are times when an HAI does develop as a direct result of medical negligence. A thorough investigation must be done to determine which is true in a specific case.
If it is found that the infection could have been prevented if the medical professional had not deviated from the standard of care, then you may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the medical professional, as well as against the hospital, office, or clinic where you contracted the infection.
If you or a loved one acquired an infection while in the hospital that wasn’t properly diagnosed or treated, and you’ve suffered harm as a result, you must speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Proving malpractice in HAI claims can be complicated, which is why Ross Feller Casey has expert physicians on staff to review your medical records.
Our medical malpractice lawyers are knowledgeable about HAIs, sepsis, and septic shock and are experienced in proving liability and negligence on the part of hospitals or medical professionals. We have a proven track record of winning large financial recoveries for clients just like you.
Call the offices of Ross Feller Casey for a free consultation with one of our medical malpractice attorneys. Our medical malpractice 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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