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What every patient should know about hospital-acquired infections

If you are facing an upcoming surgery, more than likely you are a bit nervous about it. You want everything to go smoothly. You don’t want to face unexpected complications. You might not like the idea that you have to spend a few days in the hospital as you recover, but you likely aren’t thinking about what will happen if you acquire an infection while you are there.

Unfortunately, patients facing an upcoming hospital stay should be concerned about contracting an infection while they are there. According to the Center for Disease Control, about 1.7 million people a year acquire an infection during a hospital stay and 99,000 of those patients die from a hospital-acquired infection.

Common hospital-acquired infections

Some of the most common hospital-acquired infections include:

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Surgical site infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Blood stream infections
  • Staph infections, including methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is resistant to antibiotics

If you had a recent hospital stay and got an infection within 48 hours of that stay, it’s likely you have a hospital-acquired infection.

Hospital-acquired infections and medical malpractice

You may have a medical malpractice claim if a hospital-acquired infection worsened your health or if you lost a loved one to a preventable hospital-acquired infection. You will have to prove the hospital’s negligence led to you or your loved one contracting a serious infection that affected your health.

Some examples of negligent care that can lead to hospital-acquired infection include:

  • A doctor or health care worker not properly washing their hands before examining you or treating you
  • Hospital staff failing to properly disinfect a room or hospital bed or sheets before your stay
  • Healthcare workers ignoring signs of an infection
  • Poor communication between healthcare workers about your treatment and infection risks

If you think negligence led to you suffering more health problems because of a hospital-acquired infection, you need to consult an attorney. You can recover damages through a medical malpractice lawsuit. The compensation you receive can pay for the medical bills you racked up to treat your infection and help you hold your medical providers accountable for your care.