hospital acquired infections

Secure representation from an award-winning medical malpractice law firm

When you enter the hospital, you expect to leave in better health than when you arrived. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Every year, thousands of patients fall ill with infections that they receive while staying in a hospital, under the care of doctors, nurses, and other support staff. If you or a loved one acquired a preventable infection while hospitalized, contact the attorneys of Schochor, Federico and Staton, P.A. for trustworthy assistance with your medical malpractice claim. We help clients harmed by medical malpractice to recover damages for their losses, and pride ourselves on a proven track record of success.

What are hospital-acquired infections?

A hospital-acquired infection is an illness that is contracted as a result of your presence in a hospital or other health care facility. The infection can stem from viral, fungal, or bacterial pathogens, which are passed to the patient through the negligent actions of the facility as a whole, or of a particular caregiver. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in every 25 patients contracts at least one hospital-acquired infection, with most passing through the bloodstream. Some of the most common hospital-acquired infections include:

  • Pneumonia. When placed on a ventilator, a patient is at risk of developing pneumonia from the introduction of germs to the lungs. This is the primary way patients develop pneumonia in a hospital, although it can be contracted in other ways. The illness is generally treated through antibiotics.
  • Urinary tract infections. According to the CDC, urinary catheters account for about 75% of all hospital-acquired urinary tract infections.
  • Surgical site infections. These infections develop during or after surgery in the area of the body where the procedure took place. They may involve superficial irritations to the skin or serious infections to organs or materials implanted within the body.

There are other types of infections such as gastroenteritis (infectious diarrhea), tuberculosis, and more. Questions about hospital-acquired infections can be directed to your attorney to see if the health care professionals in charge of your well-being are to blame.

Knowledgeable lawyers who understand that hospital-acquired infections are preventable

The CDC and organizations that govern hospitals are well aware of the problems associated with hospital-acquired infections. To promote prevention, they offer numerous steps that hospitals and medical staff members must take to ensure the safety of their patients. At the top of the list is cleanliness. Hand washing and use of sterile tools and instruments are extremely important to maintaining a safe and clean hospital environment. Some other suggestions include:

  • For Ventilator Usage:
    • Ventilators should be thoroughly cleaned or replaced between patient uses.
    • Patients should be regularly assessed for their ability to breathe independently so as to limit use of the ventilator.
    • When possible, the patient’s head should be raised between 30 and 45 degrees.
  • For Catheter Usage:
    • Catheters should only be used when absolutely necessary.
    • Personnel should be properly trained in inserting and maintaining catheters.
    • Only sterilized equipment should be used when inserting a catheter into a patient.
  • For surgical site Infections:
    • Any known infections should be treated before surgery, if possible.
    • The incision site, and areas around the site, should be thoroughly cleaned.

These are just a few examples of many other issues that could be at fault for your infection. If a doctor, nurse, or member of the support staff failed to take appropriate care, and you or a loved one suffered an infection as a result, you may be entitled to compensation. Let one of our experienced attorneys review the facts of your claim to give you specific insight.

Contact a firm of award-winning attorneys to assist you in Washington D.C. or Maryland

The law firm of Schochor, Federico and Staton, P.A. has proudly accepted numerous awards for its service to victims of medical malpractice. With more than 30 years of experience, these attorneys have the knowledge to provide you with guidance in the Maryland and Washington D.C. courts. Contact their office at 410-234-1000 to schedule a confidential consultation at their Baltimore or Washington D.C. office.