Protecting Hospital Patients Who Developed Infection
A hospital-acquired infection (HAI), sometimes called a health care-associated infection, is a viral, fungal or bacterial illness that is almost always 100 percent preventable. This means that if you or your loved one contracted an HAI while you were in an Ohio health care facility, the chances are exceptionally high that you did so as the result of someone else’s negligence.
At Crandall & Pera Law, our seasoned medical malpractice attorneys protect the rights of patients who have developed an HAI because of an error or act of negligence by a health care practitioner in Ohio or Kentucky.
Types Of Hospital-Acquired Infections
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies HAIs into four main categories:
- Central Line-associated Bloodstream Infection (CLABSI). Central line infections are among the deadliest HAIs there are, and according to the CDC, among the costliest and the most prevalent. The catheter is inserted into a large vein in a patient’s body (usually in the neck, chest or groin) in order to disseminate fluids or medication, or for testing purposes. If the catheter is defective or improperly sterilized, a patient runs the risk of developing septicemia (blood poisoning), which can quickly lead to sepsis, an inflammatory response than can prove fatal is left untreated.
- Catheter-associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI). UTIs are usually not fatal; in fact, most people who suffer a urinary tract infection can have them cleared up within days by taking antibiotics. As many as 25 percent of patients with a urinary catheter will develop a UTI. However, if left undiagnosed and untreated, a urinary tract infection can cause permanent kidney damage or lead to sepsis.
- Surgical Site Infection (SSI). Surgical site infections pose twofold problems: first, that you can suffer an infection at the actual site, and second, that the infection can spread via the bloodstream throughout your body. If diagnosed and treated quickly, you may only need some antibiotics to clear up the infection. If left to fester, you may need revision surgery or additional surgical procedures to remove infected tissue or damaged organs.
- Ventilator-associated Pneumonia (VAP). Patients on ventilators need careful and consistent monitoring, to ensure that the tubes are always clear and safe. Defective or dirty breathing tubes make it easy for germs to get into a patient’s lungs, which increases the risk of developing pneumonia. If untreated, a patient may suffer permanent damage to the lungs, or die as a result.
Certain types of infections, like septicemia, are more common than others – and more deadly, too, if left unchecked. It may be considered an act of medical negligence if your doctors fails to diagnose and treat you for infections like MRSA (a bacterial staph infection resistant to most antibiotics) or C. diff (a bacterial infection that affects children, the elderly and the immune-compromised in disproportionate numbers). Infections like MRSA and C. diff are almost entirely preventable, as they are most often spread by health care professionals who have not adhered to rigorous hygiene standards, or who have failed to properly and completely disinfect tools or instruments after use.
Recent news stories have shown us that epidural injections in particular can lead to a patient being infected with MRSA inside the body, not just on the skin, where staph infections most commonly occur.
How We Can Help
Recovering after a hospital-acquired infection may be hard, but choosing the right attorney to represent you doesn’t need to be. Crandall & Pera Law has the skills, experience and resources to handle complex medical malpractice cases. To schedule your free consultation at one of our multiple Ohio offices, please call 855-444-6651, or fill out our contact form to find out more.