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Study suggests a link between hospital negligence and infections

| Apr 3, 2014 | Failure To Diagnose & Misdiagnosis

A new survey of hospital infection rates is being touted as the first nationally representative count. Specifically, researchers surveyed over 10,000 patients, randomly selected from 183 hospitals. The report was produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The survey data is important because infections continue to affect the lives of many Americans. In 2011, about one in every 25 hospitalized patients developed an infection during their stay. In numbers, that translates into about 722,000 hospital infections. Unfortunately, not every patient is able to recover from an infection. Of those Americans with infections, about 75,000 succumbed to their condition in 2011, or one in every nine.

Of course, the cause of infection may not always be the result of hospital negligence or a medical mistake. For example, a weakened patient may not respond well to a surgical procedure or other treatment.

However, hospital errors and medical negligence continue to be a leading cause of injury in Massachusetts and across the country. In fact, the 2011 survey data illustrates the significant impact that a professional level of care can make in a patient’s experience. According to a deputy director at the CDC, improvements at hospitals may have played a large part in what appears to be a downward trend in hospital infection rates.

The settings for medical care have also become varied, with operations occurring in outpatient facilities, nursing homes and other locations outside of hospitals. Yet regardless of the setting, a patient deserves to benefit from properly trained medical staff and rules and procedures that conform to the applicable standard of care. When doctors or staff fail to meet that standard, a medical malpractice attorney can provide a consultation to determine if a negligence claim might be brought against those at fault.  

Source: New York Times, “Infections at Hospitals Are Falling, C.D.C. Says,” Sabrina Tavernise, March 26, 2014

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