A patient contracts a hospital-acquired infection when he in the hospital for some other condition and contracts an infection while receiving care in the facility. Patients in a hospital may already be at risk of infection as many already have a weakened immune system. But the negligence of a medical professional or some unsanitary conditions in the hospital can also contribute to infections.
The following conditions can increase the risk of hospital-acquired infections.
- Medical personnel like doctors, nurses or technicians fail to practice proper hand hygiene
- Failure to follow proper procedures when inserting and removing of catheters
- Leaving a catheter in a patient’s body for longer than is required
- Failure to sterilize surfaces like countertops, bed trays, railings and other surfaces in a hospital room
- Failure to maintain a barrier of protective clothing like gloves or masks when changing or handling catheters
- Failure to sterilize hospital surroundings
Such behavior is negligent on the part of the medical and hospital staff. If it leads to a hospital-acquired infection and resultant damages, then the medical professional or hospital may be liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
What can medical personnel do to reduce the risk of infections?
It’s impossible to eliminate the presence of bacteria, viruses and other pathogens in a hospital environment. Hospitals and medical personnel can take preventative action to reduce the risk of infections.
- Implementation of strict hand washing procedures
- Establishment of hand washing stations at convenient areas across the facility
- Sterilization of bed curtains, bed sheets, and other items and surfaces that may contain pathogens
- Isolation of patients who suffer from highly contagious infections
- Disinfection of rooms housing patients with highly contagious infections before admitting new patients into the room
- Better training for staff members to follow all medical and surgical procedures and best practices for infection control
- Better patient-provider communication that encourages patients to ask health care providers like doctors and nurses to wash their hands before attending to them
If the hospital and medical personnel did not follow these and other hygiene and sterilization procedures, then it may be negligent and liable for damages. Review your case with a lawyer.
Call Cordisco & Saile LLC if You or a Loved One Contracted a Serious Hospital-acquired Infection
If you contract an infection in a hospital, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim. Call 215-642-2335 to speak with medical malpractice lawyer John Cordisco. You can also fill out our online contact form to schedule an initial evaluation of your case.