Did Medical Negligence Lead to You Developing a Hospital Acquired Infection in Kentucky?
Experienced medical malpractice attorneys uphold your rights
Hospitals are supposed to be facilities where sick and injured people can be made well. Sadly, Kentucky hospitals are notorious for their poor ability to prevent the spread of certain hospital acquired infections (HAIs), also called healthcare-associated infections, which means some patients leave facilities even sicker than they were when they entered. When you develop an additional illness because of negligence or errors on behalf of the healthcare practitioners, the Kentucky medical malpractice attorneys of Crandall & Pera Law can help you obtain the compensation you need in order to protect yourself and your family.
Defining an HAI
It is no secret that Kentucky’s hospitals and healthcare facilities consistently earn low scores when it comes to preventing HAIs from spreading. The Courier-Journal reports that Louisville area facilities do a particularly poor job when it comes to containing and preventing certain infections from spreading.
So what are HAIs, specifically? Ky.gov defines them as “infections people get while receiving health care treatment for another condition.” But there is a difference between developing one of these infections and, say, catching a cold from a person in a waiting room. HAIs are extremely contagious and can be deadly when left untreated, and are often the result of a healthcare practitioner acting negligently concerning infection precautions. Infections are usually spread:
- Through contaminated surgical instruments or needles
- Through contaminated medications
- By poor hygiene practices on behalf of staff
- By staff touching surfaces like bed railings (or even patients) when not wearing gloves
- When a room is not sufficiently sterilized and maintained
- When staff fails to monitor a patient after a procedure
Common hospital acquired infections in Kentucky
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists four main areas under which most healthcare-associated infections fall: central line-associated infections, other catheter-associated infections, surgical site infections and ventilator-associated pneumonia. Within those categories fall some of the most dangerous bacterial and fungal infections there are:
- Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. MRSA bacteria are like “superbugs,” in that they are resistant to most forms of antibiotics. Unlike other staph infections, MRSA is not limited to the skin; in fact, there have been multiple reports of patients contracting MRSA after being given an injection of some kind. It can lead to a variety of complications, and if left untreated, it could be fatal.
- Clostridium difficile, or C. diff. diff is often contracted by the very young or the elderly, or by patients whose immune systems are otherwise complicated. Like MRSA, C. diff can exist within your body for a long time without making you ill – but once it does, it can lead to a slew of complications including pseudomembranous colitis, toxic megacolon, colon perforation, sepsis (inflammation throughout the body, causing blood clots and often resulting in oxygen deprivation or organ failure if left unchecked) or even death.
- Urinary tract infections. Most UTIs are harmless, though a bit painful, and can be cleared up easily with antibiotics. Patients who use a catheter are at an increased risk of developing a UTI. However, if the infection is not treated promptly, a patient can sustain permanent kidney damage or develop sepsis.
- Bloodstream infections. Bloodstream infections are most often associated with central line placement – central lines are catheters placed “in a large vein in the neck, chest, or groin to give medication or fluids or to collect blood for medical tests – and they cause the deaths of thousands of people each year. Septicemia is the most dangerous kind of bloodstream infection, progressing quickly into sepsis if left untreated.
These illnesses are painful at best and lethal at worst, and can almost always be avoided if medical personnel take the appropriate precautions and care when treating patients. When doctors, nurses and hospital staff fail to provide the right standard of care and end up spreading these bacteria, they may be held liable for your bills, expenses, and pain and suffering. If the worst comes to pass, and your spouse or child dies as a result, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Choosing the right Kentucky medical malpractice attorney for your needs
Medical malpractice cases are challenging even under the clearest circumstances. You want an attorney who not only has experience handling these types of lawsuits or negotiations, but who also has the resources to take on large-scale, complex claims. At Crandall & Pera Law, our Kentucky injury lawyers have obtained millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for clients who suffered because of the negligence of another person. We have a Registered Nurse on-staff, and we have years of experience working with doctors, insurance companies and key material witnesses when we build a case for compensation.
If you contracted an HAI because of a negligent healthcare provider, a Kentucky medical malpractice lawyer from Crandall & Pera Law may be able to help you. We know which hospitals have a reputation for putting their patients at risk, and our in-depth knowledge of the law and the justice system help us anticipate problems before they arise.
Seasoned Kentucky medical negligence lawyers on your side
Hospital acquired infections are almost always preventable. When our clients are made sicker by the very people they trust to make them well, our team of attorneys fights for justice for you. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Kentucky medical malpractice attorney, please call 877.651.7764, or fill out our contact form.