When you are in need of medical treatment, you can go to a hospital, seek professional care, and get the attention that you deserve to help you get well. You may expect that you will receive medical tests and screenings for certain diseases. You may even anticipate being given medications and drugs to help you improve. But do you plan on getting an infection while you are at the hospital? Probably not.
But if you happen to be one of the roughly four percent of Americans who suffer from hospital-acquired infections each year, you may not be able to think about anything else when it comes to hospital care afterwards.
That number is derived from a study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2011, which confirmed that one out of every 25 hospital patients would contract an infection that they did not possess prior to their arrival simply by being in the hospital. Some would have their infections eliminated during their course of hospitalized care while others would be discharged with the infection still present.
Unfortunately, some patients who acquired infections never recovered and succumbed due to the damages they sustained. In 2011, 722,000 patients contracted an infection during a stay in an acute care hospital and approximately 75,000 of those patients died, an average of more than 205 infection-related deaths every single day during the year.
It can be difficult to understand exactly why any patient comes down with an infection but it is important to realize that it can happen to anyone at any time during a hospital stay. Often, germs from one patient can spread to others as staff and doctors move among them. In other cases, failure to sterilize medical equipment, including beds, wheelchairs, and diagnostic devices, can lead germs to spread. Often, infections form following surgical procedures or the placement of medical lines in a patient. In fact, central line associated bloodstream infections, catheter associated urinary tract infections, and post-surgical infections are some of the most common complications seen in hospitals, and unfortunately, can be very difficult to treat.
In the past, an infection may have presented nothing more than an annoyance or an inconvenience to doctors and patients alike. An antibiotic was prescribed and the patient made a recovery. But today, overuse of antibiotics has created “superbugs,” or antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that will not be eliminated by the use of prescription drugs. That means that any infection can turn from a minor issue into a life-threatening situation with very little warning.
Some infections may not be the fault of anyone in a hospital but often, infections can be a sign of malpractice or improper care. If you were harmed due to an infection of if someone you love was injured or killed due to a hospital-acquired condition, make sure you have an understanding of your legal options and whether you have a valid claim for relief.
The legal team at Abels & Annes, P.C. is standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191 where we offer all those who have been hurt a free case consultation without obligation. If we represent you in your case, we will not charge you a fee unless we successfully make a recovery on your behalf and we will fight for the best possible outcome for you.
If you have questions or if you need help about a possible medical malpractice claim in Phoenix, call Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let us get to work for you.
Prior Blog Entry:
Seat Belts are the Most Important Safety Feature in Car Accidents, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published September 21, 2015.