What is a Hospital Acquired Infection?
Hospital infections are acquired while patients are receiving treatment in a healthcare setting. This includes hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and long-term facilities such as nursing homes, hospice centers, and rehabilitation clinics.
Bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other less common pathogens often cause infections. In some cases, due to the weakened state of patient’s immune system, the body finds it more difficult to fight pathogens in healthcare facilities. As a result, the pathogens spread quicker and more easily throughout the body. Some patients may become infected as a result of interaction with other patients, poor conditions, improper practices, or an improper use of common antibiotics. Most HAIs are considered easily avoidable, and an estimated 40 percent of cases can be attributed to improper hand washing. Thousands die each year as a result of HAIs.
Risks and Symptoms
Patients with highly weakened immune systems are most susceptible to HAIs, but all patients are at some degree of risk. HAIs can occur:
- Up to three days after being discharged from a healthcare facility
- Up to 48 hours after being admitted to the hospital
- Up to 30 days following surgery
Symptoms vary depending on the type of infection. However, the most common include pneumonia, surgical site infections, and gastrointestinal infections. Additionally, patients may experience fever, discharge, inflammation, and in some cases, death.
With the help of an experienced medical malpractice lawyer, you can collect the compensation you will need in order to recover from an infection caused by negligence on the part of a medical professional.
Why Speak with an Attorney?
We depend on medical professionals to safeguard our health, but there are times when negligence, such as insufficient follow-up care, and an improperly maintained hospital environment can lead to further medical complications. On average, patients who contract hospital infections stay 2.5 times longer than those who do not. This can incur devastating hospital expenses in addition to posing a potentially life-threatening risk to you or a loved one. It takes an advanced understanding of hospital protocol to prove negligence on the part of a medical professional. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can build a compelling case on your behalf and help you collect the compensation you will need in order to recover from an HAI.
We Are Here To Help You Recover
We have a proven track record of helping clients collect in a variety of medical malpractice lawsuits. If you or someone you love has become infected in a medical facility, please schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys as soon as possible.