Harrisburg Medical Malpractice Lawyers
We Represent Patients who Contract Hospital-Acquired Infections
Hospital-acquired infections are a leading cause of injuries and deaths in the United States. According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 722,000 hospital-acquired infections (HAI) occur each year. This is equivalent to about 1 in every 25 patients developing an infection during their hospital stay. Sadly, approximately 75,000 of those hospital patients die as a result of their HAI.
Hospital-acquired infections can occur at anytime and at any type of facility that provides healthcare including hospitals, outpatient clinics, surgical centers and nursing homes. Certain populations are more susceptible to developing an infection than others including infections caused by medical malpractice. These individuals are the elderly, the very young and patients with weakened immune systems.
Causes of Hospital-Acquired Infections
Hospital-acquired infections can occur under a variety of circumstances. Infections can be passed from patient to patient or from a healthcare provider to a patient during routine medical care. Some examples of medical and surgical negligence that can lead to the development of a HAI include:
- Failure to properly wash hands with soap and water
- Failing to wear appropriate medical equipment such as sterile masks, gowns, gloves or hats
- The use of non-sterile or contaminated equipment such as a catheter or tube that is placed into a patient
- Contaminated workplace environment or surfaces
- Leaving medical devices in a patient for a longer period than necessary
- Overuse of antibiotics
- Non-sterile injections
Types of Hospital-Acquired Infections
Some of the most common types of hospital-acquired infections include:
- Bloodstream infections
- Clostridium difficile (C-diff)
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus
- Surgical site infections
- Urinary tract infections
Follow These Steps to Reduce Your Chances of Developing a Hospital Acquired Infection
Our medical malpractice lawyers in Harrisburg and Pittsburgh recommend that all patients follow the recommendations below in order to prevent the acquisition of a HAI.
- Hand hygiene: The single most effective measure in reducing the risk of hospital-acquired infections is hand washing. Healthcare workers and visitors need to all observe proper hand washing techniques. Do not let anyone provide care to you or your loved one unless they have washed their hands.
- Communication: Patients or a designated family advocate need to know and understand the care that is being provided. It is important to be mindful of the risks for infections, particularly the use of indwelling medical devices such as central intravenous lines and urinary catheters. The overuse of antibiotics can be a source of infection. In addition, all patients should communicate any concerns that have about infection prevention measures to the medical team.
- Limit visitors: Be vigilant about your visitors in the hospital. This particularly applies to the old and the young and anyone that is sick. Ask visitors to wash their hands when entering and leaving your hospital room.
- Research hospitals: Educate yourself on the hospital that will be responsible for your medical care. Hospitals are required to report the incidence rate of hospital-acquired infections in their facilities. It would be in your best interest to research this information prior to undergoing any medical care, procedures or surgeries.
Medical Malpractice Lawyers at the Law Offices of James R. Moyles in Pittsburgh and Harrisburg Help Victims of Hospital-Acquired Infections
If you or someone you love has suffered harm as a result of a hospital-acquired infection caused by hospital malpractice, contact The Moyles Law Firm as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are fully protected. Our Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyers have been representing Pennsylvania residents for more than 30 years, helping them recover the maximum compensation for their injuries and other damages. To discuss your potential claim, contact our offices today at 412-281-1055 or 717-233-5400 to schedule a free consultation with one of our reputable Pittsburgh personal injury lawyers or contact us online.