Surgical and hospital-acquired infections are a leading cause of serious complications in hospitals and freestanding surgery centers in the United States. In some cases, infection is unpreventable, whether because the body reacts poorly to a procedure or simply due to bad luck. However, infection can also be caused by a hospital’s negligence or a doctor’s mistake.
According to the CDC, healthcare-associated infections are on the rise. In fact, 1 in 25 hospital patients will acquire an infection. In the most tragic cases, a hospital-acquired infection causes death. In other cases, patients must suffer additional surgeries or procedures after the infection sets in, resulting in a longer recovery time and a lengthier hospital stay. Abdominal surgeries carry a higher risk of infection, but the reality is that any surgery can result in a serious and life-threatening infection.
At LawMD, many of our medical malpractice lawyers are also physicians who use their clinical knowledge to pursue results and compensation for the clients we serve. No medical procedure is entirely without risk, and outcomes vary depending on the individual patient, but certain mistakes just should not happen. When they do, we are here to demand answers on behalf of injured patients and their families.
Contact a hospital-acquired infection attorney in Baltimore for a free consultation; call (888) 695-2963 or submit an online request form today.
Types of Healthcare-Associated Infections
You might be aware that many of the antibiotics we have come to depend on are no longer as effective against infection as they once were. Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem around the world. Each year, about two million people in the U.S. acquire an infectious disease that does not respond well to existing drugs. At least 23,000 Americans die every year as a result of an antibiotic resistance infection.
Researchers are constantly working to find alternative drugs and therapies to fight infectious diseases. In the meantime, it is critical for doctors and hospitals to provide a high level of care to patients during any kind of medical procedure and especially during surgery and throughout the postoperative period.
Many infections can be avoided through proper wound and incision care, good hygiene on the part of medical staff, and best practices for stopping the transmission of infections from one patient to another.
Some of the most common healthcare-associated infections include:
- Necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating bacteria)
- Bloodstream infections
- Staph infections
- Surgical site infections
- Hospital-acquired pneumonia
- Urinary tract infections due to catheterization
- C. diff
- Respiratory infections
- Viral infections
These infections occur for a variety of reasons, from unsterile operating environments to a surgeon leaving a sponge or tool inside a patient during an operation.
Symptoms of Post-Surgical Infection
The body is designed to exhibit warning signs when something is wrong.
The symptoms of infection include:
- Swelling at the site of infection, especially surgical sites
- Changes in white blood cell count
- Rapid heart rate
- Abnormally high or low temperature
- Redness around the wound or surgical site
- Unusual drainage
When doctors, nurses, and other health care providers fail to intervene, an infection can quickly turn deadly. These cases are devastating for patients and their families, especially when you consider that the majority of these cases could have been prevented with the proper level of care. The elderly are especially vulnerable to health-associated infections, as they may not always be able to advocate for better care on their own behalf.
Get a Free Case Evaluation
If you have experienced an infection due to a doctor’s error or a hospital’s negligence, it’s important to contact a Baltimore hospital-acquired infection lawyer right away. Don’t miss your chance to get the compensation you deserve by waiting too long to speak to an attorney. The physician-attorneys at LawMD can help.
Get your free case evaluation today; call us at (888) 695-2963.