Hospital-Acquired Infections a Primary Threat in Idaho
Hospital infections have become a serious issue in Idaho as the risk to patients reaches a crisis level nationwide.
A Meridian medical malpractice lawyer can represent patients who have suffered greater harm by an infection acquired in the hospital than by the injury or ailment that landed them there in the first place. Meanwhile, the hospital is profiting!
In some cases, hospitals have designated whole floors for the treatment of hospital-acquired infections, leaving patients with longer hospital stays and astronomical medical bills.
A hospital-acquired infection can be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit if it can be proven with testimony from an expert witness that the health care providers failed to follow the applicable standard of care for their specialty and geographical region.
Most Common Hospital Infections
Nursing School Hub reports the top reasons for hospital visits and complications:
- Norovirus: Many infected patients think they have the flu as resulting gastroenteritis causes flu-like symptoms.
- Mycobacterium abscesses: Known to be the cause of serious illnesses like leprosy and tuberculosis, this is one of the more serious hospital-acquired infections.
- Klebsiella: Another serious hospital-acquired infection, symptoms can include bloodstream infections, surgical site infection, and onset of a very serious form of pneumonia.
- Influenza: While most people recover from the flu, about 50,000 Americans die each year. Influenza is typically present in hospital settings throughout flu season.
Other hospital-acquired infections include pseudomonas aeruginosa, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci, Tuberculosis and Vancomycin-intermediate or Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. All of these are most commonly found in hospital settings.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on any given day, 1 in 25 hospital patients nationwide has at least one hospital-acquired infection. Of the 1.7 million Americans who are infected in hospitals each year, nearly 100,000 die as a result of their infections. This is likely the most preventable cause of death in the medical industry.
Even when they are not fatal, infections can extend hospital stays for weeks, sometimes months. And regardless of who is at fault for the hospital-acquired infection, the hospital always bills the patient.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reports cooperation with the federal 5-year plan to reduce bloodstream infections by 50 to 70 percent.
Liability for Hospital Acquired Infections
Those suffering a medically-acquired infection should contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Idaho as soon as possible. Determining liability in medical cases involving hospital infections is very complicated and requires a thorough investigation regarding how the infection was acquired, whether it was properly treated and whether it could have been prevented.
Failure to follow best practices can amount to medical negligence. The three primary risk factors for acquiring infections involve patient risk factors, organizational risk factors and iatrogenic risk factors. This involves reviewing performance of doctors, nurses and hospital staff, including frequency of hand washing, use of antibiotics and the care used during invasive procedures, such as intubation and urine catheterization.
Medical malpractice is legally defined as professional negligence by act or omission in which treatment falls below the accepted standard of care. Your medical malpractice attorney will use outside experts, including independent doctors and nurses, to conduct a thorough review of your case in determining the best course of action.