Medical negligence can take many forms and result in various complications. A hospital infection is one type of medical negligence that causes a patient to suffer further injury or illness. If this happens in a Chicago area hospital, it can result in the need to file an Illinois medical malpractice lawsuit.
How frequent-and dangerous-are hospital infections?
A hospital infection can lead to serious injury or illness, or even result in death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that as many as 10% of patients in hospitals in the United States will be affected by a nosocomial infection. A nosocomial infection is one that is acquired while receiving healthcare or spending time in a hospital. Nosocomial infections are also referred to as hospital-acquired infections or healthcare-acquired infections.
While injuries from a hospital infection can be serious, they can usually be treated. Unfortunately, further treatment of the infection may require a longer hospital stay and additional procedures, not to mention additional risk of infection.
When a healthcare-acquired infection is not treatable, it may result in death. At one time, the CDC estimated that approximately 90,000 hospital infection-related fatalities have occurred in the United States, though some medical experts have said that number is lower than the actual number of hospital infection related deaths.
In most instances, a hospital infection is preventable.
Medical personnel who don’t perform a high standard of care to patients increase their risk of developing a hospital infection.
Most hospital infections occur because of wrongdoing or negligence on behalf of a doctor, nurse or other medical professional. Such an instance of medical negligence can lead to the need to file an Illinois medical malpractice lawsuit.
What causes a hospital infection?
There are a number of causes for what is most times a preventable medical error.
Some of the more common causes for a hospital infection include:
- unsanitary conditions (the methods used, surgical tools, invasive device, environment, bedding, etc.);
- failing to properly wash hands before performing a procedure on a patient;
- improperly administering intravenous equipment;
- improper use of ventilators;
- shaving hair (which causes cuts that are at risk of becoming infected); and
- improper care of a surgical site.
Unsanitary conditions are the most common reason for a hospital infection. With proper sterilization and hand-washing practices, this type of medical negligence could be avoided in a vast majority of cases.