Hospitals are expected to be safe places where we go to get helpful medical treatment and healing. Sometimes, hospitals and other medical facilities are not as safe as we may assume. There are growing hospital safety concerns in the United States.

Hospital-Acquired Infections

While most people think of hospitals as sterile environments, infections can actually be very common inside of hospitals and medical facilities. According to the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1 of every 25 hospital patients contracts some type of infection while at the facility. As many as 75,000 people died due to hospital-acquired infections in 2011. This equals about 200 or more deaths every day.

Types of Infections

About half the infections were contracted in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit), while the remaining infections were the result of general surgery or were contracted in general care rooms.  Some of the most common types of infections that patients get while being cared for at a hospital are:

  • UTI Infections (Urinary Tract Infections)
  • Surgical Wound Infections
  • Infections of the Bloodstream
  • C-Diff Infections (Clostridium Difficile)

Another infection, called MRSA, is not as common, but can be more dangerous. Many of these types of infections are spread because of improper cleaning and sanitation, failure to take proper care when treating patients from room to room, and negligent care of surgical wounds.

Treating Hospital-Acquired Infections

Hospital-acquired infections can be very stubborn and difficult to treat. This is especially true for patients who may already have serious illnesses or weakened immune systems. Treating such infections requires immediate diagnosis and proper medication. The symptoms of an infection may be difficult to notice, particularly when patients are already battling other illnesses. It is up to the medical team to properly diagnose and quickly provide treatment. Failure to do so could cause the infection to worsen, making recovery more difficult.

Medical Malpractice

Medical staff members at hospitals are required to provide proper care. When a hospital-acquired infection happens, it may mean that the hospital was negligent.  Hospitals, including doctors, nurses, and other caregivers, must take the necessary steps to prevent the spread of dangerous infections. If you or a loved one were seriously injured because of a hospital infection, you may be able to file a claim to collect damages for the injuries caused by the infection.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you or someone you know wishes to seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney regarding Hospital Safety Concerns,  or other personal injury matters, call 480.461.5300. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.