How Many People Are Affected?
It is estimated that 200 people die every day in the United States due to an infection they developed in the hospital, and the number is rising. According to the CDC, in 2011, it is estimated that a staggering 721,800 people contracted an infection during a hospital stay due to various complications including pneumonia, gastrointestinal illness, UTIs, bloodstream infections, surgical site infections, and more. Bacteria responsible for a number of difficult-to-treat infections, like MRSA, can linger in hospitals long after infected patients have departed. This especially can be a problem considering that in some hospitals, 70-90% of infected patients are never even identified. It makes sense that lawsuits against hospitals are on the rise.
In response to these disturbing numbers, 26 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws that require hospitals to disclose infection rates to the public.
Luckily, hospitals are now enforcing better hand hygiene and infection prevention measures to combat this problem. The Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) now works together with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) by providing guidance related to the betterment of infection control and prevention. However, even with these steps being taken, there are still some hospitals that are struggling to bring their statistics under control because bacteria growth and contamination is rampant. Ultimately, any patient across any state in the U.S. runs a risk, however great or small, of contracting an infection.
Infections and Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
It has been believed in the past that infections were unavoidable in hospitals, but this belief has long been disproved. Through proper training, adequate hygiene, and thorough housekeeping procedures, the spread of infection-causing bacteria can be brought under control. If these precautions are not taken, however, hospitals can make themselves vulnerable to a host of medical malpractice lawsuits. If a jury agrees that a hospital has been negligent in enforcing important health and safety measures, they may be held liable for a patient’s infection and may owe them compensation for their medical care.
When you are admitted to a hospital, it is your expectation that you should be able to receive the care you need in order to get well. As a patient, you should never have to fear that your hospital visit will make you sicker than you were before. Any hospital remiss in their responsibility to their patients can and will be held accountable.
Get in Touch With Our Attorneys
If you or a loved one have suffered from an infection contracted during a hospital stay, you may have a case grounded in medical malpractice. With over 30 years of experience, the attorneys at Webb & Taylor, LLC have devoted their practice to ensuring that the rights of injured people are protected. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients by providing dedicated, high-quality representation based on communication and trust. We sympathize with the physical and emotional trauma you may be facing, and will do our best to help bring you the justice you deserve so that you can move forward with your life.
Don’t wait – get started today by contacting the Peachtree City personal injury lawyers at Webb & Taylor, LLC for a free consultation.