How Do You Get Hospital Infections?
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a study using a large sample of acute care hospitals found that “on any given day, about 1 in 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection.” These healthcare-associated infections or HAIs happen to over 700,000 patients each year and are responsible for approximately 75,000 deaths. Additionally, this study does not include infections received from doctors’ offices, clinics, labs, imaging facilities, and other health care providers.
What is truly tragic is that most of these infections are preventable and often occur due to lack of properly maintained facilities. This can include anything from dirty equipment, to unchanged bed sheets, unsterilized or reused syringes, and from doctors who do not wash their hands in between patients.
Most Common Hospital Infections
While some infections are mild and can be treated with over the counter medicine, others are far more severe. The same CDC study found the most common infections sustained at health care facilities are:
- Pneumonia – 157,500
- Surgical site infections from inpatient surgery – 157,500
- Gastrointestinal illness – 123,100
- Urinary tract infections – 93,300
- Primary bloodstream infections – 71,900
While some of these conditions can be minor, others can be deadly. For example, a surgical, elderly, or pediatric patient can die from pneumonia, especially if they are already ill. Surgical site infections that have entered the blood stream can also have serious and deadly outcomes. In addition, primary bloodstream infections are extremely difficult to treat and can also have negative outcomes.
Uncommon Infections in Hospitals
Because hospitals house sick patients, these facilities are also home to much more rare bacteria that people would not normally come into contact with. Some of the more uncommon infections that patients can acquire in hospitals include:
- HIV/AIDS – Often found at facilities that treat STDs
- Meningitis – A serious disease that affects the spine and brain
- Toxemia – This condition causes a release of bacterial toxins within the bloodstream
- Influenza – The flu virus in any form, some of which can be deadly
- Staph infection – When an untreated infection enters the bloodstream, it can be hazardous and can even cause death in some cases
Hospital Infection Lawyers
If you were treated at a health care facility in the Philadelphia area and suspect you were injured as the result of an infection, there is limited time to act. Call the experienced hospital infection lawyers at Lopez McHugh LLP as soon as possible for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case.