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Hospital Acquired Infections

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Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs)

Hospital-acquired infections or nosocomial infections are preventable and avoidable in many circumstances. When a hospital fails to enforce hand hygiene rules or implement necessary infection prevention practices, patients can suffer serious injury and even death. The failure of a doctor, nurse, or hospital to properly prevent, identify, diagnose, and/or treat a hospital-acquired infection is medical malpractice.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are an estimated 1.7 million healthcare-associated infections contracted in American hospitals each year. These healthcare-associated infections account for 99,000 deaths. The CDC indicates that of all healthcare-associated infections:

A HAI can be contracted by something as simple as a hospital staff member failing to wash his or her hands before contacting with the patient. Other times, the infection may result from a lack of adequate cleaning of the hospital and its equipment, or the failure to screen an infected patient before admission into the hospital.

Infections may be spread onto surgical instruments, catheters, clothes, bedrails, wheelchairs, and virtually every surface in the hospital. Patients become ill when the infection enters their body by putting their fingers in their mouth, through a surgical incision, or placement of a curinary catheter.

The following are some preventable HAIs:

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

Hospital Error
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA is a is a strain of staphylococcus aureus (staph) that has become resistant to commonly used antibiotics, making it difficult to treat.

Most MRSA infections occur in hospitals or other health care settings. Health care-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) infections typically are contracted from an invasive procedures or devices, such as surgeries, intravenous tubing or artificial joints.

In order to prevent HA-MRSA infection, it is important that health care facilities take the following prevention methods:

  • Pre-admission Screening
  • Surface Sanitization
  • Hand Washing
  • Proper Disposal of Hospital Gowns

Clostridium difficile

Hospital Error
Clostridium difficile or “C. diff.” is a bacterium that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon (Colitis).

C. difficile is most common in hospitals and other health care facilities, where a much higher percentage of people carry the bacteria. The bacteria are passed in feces and spread to food, surfaces and objects when people who are infected do not wash their hands thoroughly. The bacteria produce spores that can persist in a room for weeks or months. If a person touches a surface contaminated with C. difficile, he or she may then unknowingly ingest the bacteria.

Healthy people usually do not get sick from C. difficile. However, when a patient takes an antibiotic to treat an infection, the drug can destroy some of the normal, helpful bacteria as well as the bacteria causing the illness. Without enough healthy bacteria, C. difficile can quickly grow out of control. The antibiotics that most often lead to C. difficile infections include luoroquinolones, cephalosporins, clindamycin, and penicillins.

Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE)

Hospital Error
Enterococci are bacteria that are normally present in the human intestines and in the female genital tract. The antibiotic vancomycin is the drug generally used to treat enterococcus infections. In some instances, however, enterococci have become resistant to vancomycin and are, therefore, called vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE). VRE infections are generally contracted in hospitals.

Videos of Interest

SECOND OPINION | Hospital Acquired Infection | PBS

Hospital acquired infections are a growing problem in the U.S. There are steps that healthcare systems can do to protect patients and actions you can take to protect yourself.

Hospital Acquired Infections are a Leading Cause of Death

Up to 2 Million patients will acquire a Hospital Acquired Infection (HAI) this year. Approximately 99,000 of those patients will Die from an HAI.

Dr. Bob Arnot discusses the dangers of Hospital Acquired Infections. This becomes especially alarming for infants and children. A child’s developing immune system can be defenseless against many of today’s viruses and bacteria. Every touch surface that children encounter is a potential risk; play tables, waiting room chairs, toys; any of these can harbor a pathogen that could lead to a serious illness.

New York City Hospital Acquired Infections Lawyer

Patients who contract a hospital acquired infection face a trying and difficult time. There are further medical treatment and procedures they are forced to endure. There are also additional medical expenses, lost wages, and other hardships. They face an uncertain future and have unanswered questions.

Since 1987, Mr. DiMartini has represented medical malpractice victims throughout the New York City metropolitan area.
We understand the hardships victims of medical malpractice and their families face. We know how to help them regain some semblance of their prior life through financial security.

Doctors and their insurance companies fight hard to defeat and deny the claims of people hurt due to medical malpractice. The victims of a medical mistake need an experienced New York medical malpractice lawyer on their side to protect their rights and assert their claim.

Since 1987, Mr. DiMartini has represented medical malpractice victims throughout the New York City metropolitan area. He is an experienced New York City medical malpractice lawyer, with a long record of success winning favorable settlements and awards for his injured clients.

If you believe you have been injured due to a hospital error and contracted a hospital acquired infection, Mr. DiMartini will explain all of your rights and options to you. He will evaluate your New York medical malpractice claim with a highly experienced medical and legal team. If we determine that we are willing to pursue your claim, it is only because we believe that there was a medical error that resulted in a serious injury to you or your loved one, and we will aggressively and professionally pursue your New York hospital acquired infection claim to get you the maximum compensation you deserve.

Personal injury law is all we do. We know how to get results!

Contact Us

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a hospital acquired infection, we are here to fight for your rights. Call Mr. DiMartini directly at 1.844.299.0030. You can also contact us online. The consultation is free. There is never a fee unless we win your case!

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