Hospital-acquired infections are often described by the media as “terrifying” and “widespread.” Both of these descriptions are accurate. In fact, hospital-acquired infections cause approximately 75,000 deaths every single year. Each day, about 1 in 25 hospitalized patients acquires a life-threatening infection. In 2011 alone, there were about 722,000 hospital-acquired infections in U.S. hospitals.
If you or a loved one has suffered an infection after surgery, hospitalization, or treatment in an emergency room, doctor’s office, or hospital, you may be entitled to compensation. The hospital-acquired infection lawyers at LawMD help people across the country. We are widely recognized as leaders in medical malpractice representation. Don’t wait to speak to a lawyer about your case. We offer no-obligation, complimentary case evaluations.
Give us a call at (888) 695-2963 or contact us online to discuss your case.
How Hospital-Acquired Infections Cause Injuries & Claim Lives
When you enter a hospital for surgery or another type of procedure, you don’t expect to come out worse than you go in. What makes hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) so scary is that they are frequently fast-moving and uncontrollable.
The following HAIs have featured prominently in the news in recent years:
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: More commonly known as MRSA, this infection is resistant to nearly all antibiotics, including penicillin and amoxicillin. MRSA is most frequently associated with IV sites, artificial joints, and surgical procedures.
- Necrotizing fasciitis: Often described as flesh-eating bacteria, necrotizing fasciitis can quickly ravage a patient’s body. Patients who survive must often undergo dozens of surgeries to remove limbs and organs affected by the bacteria. Necrotizing fasciitis affects between 600 and 700 people every year and has a 30 to 40 percent death rate.
- Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae: Known as CRE, this is a family of germs that are highly resistant to standard antibiotics. In recent years, CRE has been closely linked to medical procedures involving duodenoscopes, which are often used to diagnose problems in the mouth, throat, stomach, and small intestine. Because duodenoscopes are notoriously difficult to clean, so-called “superbugs” can thrive in the small parts of these medical devices, even after rigorous cleaning and sterilization. The FDA is actively investigating cases of superbug outbreaks caused by duodenoscopes.
- Clostridium difficile: C. diff is usually a healthy bacteria found in the gut. When it grows out of control, however, it can be life-threatening, especially in the elderly.
Because many HAIs progress with alarming rapidity, it is absolutely critical for medical staff to closely monitor patients after surgery and other medical procedures. Doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals can prevent infections or stop them in their tracks by paying close attention to the signs of infection.
The Signs of Hospital-Acquired Infection
Surgical site infections are often the most damaging and deadly, as they attack a person when he or she is already vulnerable. The hours and days after a surgery are often a critical time, as the body works hard to repair itself and recover.
Symptoms of surgical site infection include:
- High fever
- Low blood pressure
- Excessive suppuration
- Unusual swelling, soreness, or redness around the surgical site
- Extreme pain that can’t be controlled with medication
Sadly, many HAIs are missed by physicians and medical professionals, leading to a cascade of health crises that leave a patient with permanent disability or loss of function.
Contact LawMD to Discuss Your Medical Malpractice Claim
If you have suffered a hospital-acquired infection or any other type of infection related to a medical procedure, a Washington, D.C. hospital-acquired infection lawyer can help. Our attorneys are aggressive trial lawyers who understand what it takes to overcome the challenges of taking on doctors, lawyers, and big insurance companies. Many of our attorneys are also licensed medical professionals. This provides them with valuable insight into both the legal and medical aspects of your claim.
Call us today at (888) 695-2963 to speak to a Washington, D.C. hospital infection lawyer about your case. You can also get in touch through our online contact form.