Hospital acquired infections (HAIs) are common in the United States. In fact, they are responsible for an estimated 1.7 million infections and almost 100,000 deaths each year in the United States. The most common types of HAIs seen are bloodstream infections, surgical site infections, pneumonia, staph infections, and urinary tract infections. While these are not always in the control of the hospital, those infections that are specifically obtained in the facility could qualify for a lawsuit against the doctor, nursing staff, or the hospital itself.
Hospital or healthcare-associated infections are caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria. It can occur in a patient who receives medical care – surgical or non-surgical – at a medical clinic, outpatient procedure clinic, or even hospital. It is estimated by the CDC that one out of 20 hospitalized patients will develop an HAI. In addition to the pain and suffering involved with these infections, patients often encounter increased medical costs – a lot of which may not be reimbursed by medical insurance. Also, with the rise in antibiotic-resistant infections, these HAIs could lead to severe injury or even death.
Most Common Types of HAIs
There are a few commonly seen types of HAIs, which include:
- Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) – This is an antibiotic-resistant germ that can cause a deadly infection. It has been linked to contaminated duodenoscopies and is impossible to sterilize.
- Catheter-Resistant Urinary Tract Infections – When a patient has a catheter put inside his or her bladder and it is left too long, that individual can develop a UTI or even a kidney infection.
- Clostridium Difficile (CDiff) – This infection is a staph infection that causes gastrointestinal upset and can lead to death – especially in the immunocompromised or the elderly.
- Surgical Site Infections (SSIs) – These occur after surgery and can include surgical skin infections, as well as life-threatening blood infections and surgical site issues. They can also lead to organ and tissue infection and necrotizing fasciitis (a flesh-eating bacteria).
- Meningitis – This infects the protective lining around the brain and spinal cord, and can lead to death if it is not treated quickly.
- Sepsis – This infection is an infection inside the bloodstream that quickly spreads throughout the body and attacks healthy organs. It can lead to very serious injuries, but often death.
- Ventilator-Assisted Pneumonia – When an individual is on a ventilator, he or she may develop a serious lung infection.
How a Lawyer Can Help?
If you have developed an HAI, an attorney may be able to help you. Contact an attorney if you develop an infection within two weeks of leaving a hospital or outpatient facility. The medical malpractice attorney can review your health records and see if you have a case for free. If you think you have acquired an HAI, contact the Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC today. We offer free consultations and we can assess your HAI case to see if you qualify for compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. Schedule your appointment now by calling us, or fill out our online contact form with your legal questions.