Hospitals are expected to be places of healing. These are places where patients are expected to enter, get better, and then go home in better shape than they were when they entered. Sadly, this is all too often not the case. Some individuals will enter the hospital for an extended stay, often 48 hours or longer, and will develop an infection because of weak or poorly enforced infection control procedures. The failure of a hospital to properly protect its patients and properly supervise its employees in hospital infection control procedures, may lead to the hospital being legally responsible for the infection.
Risks of Hospital Acquired Infection:
There are many patients in hospitals that enter for relatively safe procedures. However, the longer that a patient stays in a hospital, the risk of developing hospital-acquired infections increases. It is estimated that the greatest risk of infection begins between 48 hours and 72 hours after the individual is first admitted to the hospital. Additional risk factors, including autoimmune disorders, can shorten this time and increase infection risk. Regardless of risk, hospitals are expected to have infection control procedures that are designed to prevent the transmission of infections.
Common Causes and Culprits of Hospital Infections:
There are many risk factors that can lead to patients acquiring an infection during the course of their time in the hospital. Some of the risk factors include the staff themselves. The use of antibiotics, frequency of hand washing, and cleaning schedule of floors and other surfaces within the hospital all have a great impact on the risk of patients developing hospital acquired infections. There are many diseases that are commonly related to hospital infections, one of the most common being methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, also known as MRSA. MRSA is more resistant to a greater number of drugs than the average staph infection. Because of this, not only is it difficult to treat, but also it also more likely to be spread because it may not be treated properly or as promptly as other diseases.
Hospital Infection Lawsuit Concerns:
It is possible that those who acquire an infection while in the hospital may have a legal claim against that hospital. If a failure of infection control procedures can be shown, then there is a possibility that the hospital may be held legally responsible. However, this may not be enough by itself. It may be necessary to show that the infection that was acquired was actually contracted at the hospital, and this may require special forms of testimony from medical experts.
Do you need a RI Medical Malpractice Attorney?
If you or a loved one have suffered because of an infection acquired while in a hospital, you may want to speak with one of our RI attorneys regarding a potential claim. d’Oliveira & Associates, Rhode Island personal injury lawyers, are working with some of the leading lawyers handling Medical Malpractice.
Please contact the law offices of d’Oliveira & Associates at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form for a free legal consultation.d’Oliveira & Associates
Providence, RI 02909
Phone: (401) 831-8600