Imagine entering a hospital in Boston for a minor outpatient surgical procedure. After the surgery, you go home and resume your life only to wake up several days later with symptoms such as severe pain, fever and/or swelling. Alarmed, you contact your doctor to arrange an examination where you learn that you have acquired a serious hospital-borne infection.
Hospital-acquired infections are more common than you may think. In many cases, they are a form of actionable hospital negligence or malpractice. This means that you may have grounds to file a malpractice lawsuit if you contracted a serious infection in a hospital. Your wisest course of action in such cases is to seek legal advice about the specifics of your infection-related injury.
While it may seem as though hospitals are too sterile to foster the growth of infection-causing bacteria, just the opposite is true. Following are some common yet preventable hospital-acquired infections and bacteria.
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) spreads through contact and can be prevented with proper hand-sterilization.
- Hepatitis-C often leads to chronic infections and is preventable if hospital staff takes care to properly dispose of contaminated syringes and other sharp instruments.
- Clostridium difficile (C. diff) can result in life-threatening colitis if left undiagnosed. It spreads through contact and can be prevented by proper hand sanitation.
- Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is notoriously resistant to antibiotics and can be fatal to hospital patients. Spread through contact, it is preventable if hospital staff members adhere to strict hygiene protocol.
As you can see, the spread and even the presence of infections and bacteria discussed here center on a hospital’s hygienic practices. When hospitals fail to adhere to these protocols and a patient suffers harm, a victim may be able to pursue legal action victims..
Source: Becker’s Hospital Review, “Most Common Healthcare-Associated Infections: 25 Bacteria, Viruses Causing HAIs,” accessed April 11, 2018