When you go to the hospital, you expect to get better. Unfortunately, hospital-acquired infections can make matters worse. On any given day, 1 in 25 patients acquires a hospital-related infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Statistics show nearly 1.7 million patients get HAIs each year, resulting in 99,000 deaths.
But statistics also show that 70% of hospital-acquired infections can be prevented.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a hospital-acquired infection, you may have been the victim of medical negligence. Contact Fieger Law today to see if you have a case.
WHAT IS A HOSPITAL-ACQUIRED INFECTION (HAI)?
Hospital-acquired infections (and hospital-related infections), also known as HAIs, are infections that occur in patients after they have been admitted to the hospital for unrelated conditions. Often, patients are infected within the first 48 hours of hospitalization.
We have all heard of “superbugs” that become resistant to antibiotics and medical intervention. Unfortunately, a wide array of dangerous bacteria resides in hospital and clinical settings, and patients often have compromised immune systems that make them especially susceptible to these bacteria.
Types of HAIs include:
- Staph infections
- Bloodstream infections
- Surgical site infections
- Urinary tract infections
- “Flesh-eating” bacteria
While many of these diseases can be successfully treated, they can be dangerous and even fatal. Most of the time, they are the result of medical negligence. Doctors and healthcare workers are held to the strictest of standards when it comes to care, safety, and hygiene. If they do not comply, patients are at risk—and hospital-related infections may occur.
Common causes of HAIs include:
- Duodenoscopes. These flexible lighted tubes get threaded through the mouth, throat, and stomach into the top of the small intestine and are almost impossible to sterilize.
- Catheters left in too long can result in urinary tract infections of the urethra, bladder, uterus, and kidneys.
- Ventilators, which expose patients’ lungs to dangerous pneumonia.
- Negligence caring for surgical wounds.
- Contaminated vials which can lead to an infection.
- Medical professionals’ failure to properly sterilize medical instruments and surroundings.
- Facility and organizational problems related to HVAC systems, water systems, or the placement of hospital beds.
- Failure of medical professionals to properly wash their hands.
- Improper prescribing or misuse of antibiotics.
FIEGER LAW: SECURING THE NATION’S HIGHEST MALPRACTICE VERDICTS
For over 70 years, the medical malpractice experts at Fieger Law have fought for victims’ rights. If you or your family member suffers from a medical mistake or a hospital infection, Geoffrey Fieger and the expert attorneys at Fieger Law can help. Contact Michigan’s top law firm specializing in medical malpractice cases today.