Hospital acquired infections, commonly referred to as HAIs, are unfortunately common within the United States. In a 2011 survey conducted by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it was founded that one in 25 hospital patients had an HAI, and that there were approximately 722,000 HAIs in U.S. acute care hospitals in 2011. Furthermore, the survey estimated that approximately 75,000 hospital patients with an HAI died as a result of their infection.
HAIs are a serious problem that can contribute to the serious illness, long-term health issues, or even death of a person. For more information on what HAIs are, how they’re acquired, and whether or not you may be able to receive compensation for your HAI, refer to the following:
Types of HAIs
HAIs are infections that people receive while they are receiving healthcare for a non-related illness or impairment. An HAI can be acquired anywhere where healthcare is being administered, ranging from nursing homes to hospitals. In most cases, a fungus, bacteria, virus, or other type of pathogen is the cause of the HAI. While the severity of the infection can also range in scope, some common HAIs include pneumonia, urinary tract infections, surgical site infections, and bloodstream infections.
The Cause of HAIs
Hospital acquired infections are spread through a variety of means, but are most commonly the result of contaminated surfaces or a contaminated workplace environment, unsterile injections, surgical procedures where proper sanitizing techniques aren’t taken, the improper use of antibiotics, the use of certain medical devices (such as catheters), or the simple spread of infection through healthcare staff members and patients, according to Health.gov.
HAIs are a growing problem in the United States, and can have serious consequences. While some HAIs occur naturally, others are preventable and only occur as a result of someone’s negligence. If you suspect that your or your loved one’s HAI was the cause of a healthcare worker’s negligent or irresponsible actions, hiring an attorney is within your best interest.
Liability for your HAI
While a hospital will not always be held liable for a HAI, a hospital or other healthcare facility may be held liable in the case that infection control measures have not been implemented within the healthcare facility, or in the case that the staff of the healthcare facility failed to comply with the infection control measures. As such, if your HAI was preventable, and occurred only as a direct result of the healthcare facility’s, or healthcare facility’s staff member’s, failure to act responsibly and reasonably, then the healthcare facility may be held liable for your injuries and infection.
In the case that the healthcare facility is held liable for your HAI, you may be entitled to damages including payment for medical bills, lost wages, pain, and emotional suffering. In the case that your loved one was killed by an HAI, you may be entitled to funeral expenses, lost wages, loss of companionship, and more. If you are interested in pursuing a medical malpractice case for damages contact Tate Law Offices, P.C., today by calling 888-662-3892 for a free case review.