Patients go to the hospital seeking effective treatment for a medical condition. They certainly do not desire or hope to get sicker while they are there. An infection acquired while you are in the hospital, however, can do serious damage. Whether caused by a virus, bacteria, or fungi, these infections can be difficult to treat and, in some cases, can even result in death.
Here are some of the most common causes of healthcare-associated infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
· Bloodstream infections from central lines: Infectious agents can be introduced into the bloodstream from the implantation of a central line for administering medications.
· Urinary tract infections from catheter use: Catheters are commonly used for patients who cannot negotiate the bathroom due to their medical condition, but these devices can also become the site of a serious infection.
· Surgical sites. Unless strict attention is paid to sterilization and hygiene during surgery, a surgical site can easily become the site of an infection from surgical instruments, surgeon’s hands, and other sources.
What Can I Do To Reduce My Risk of Hospital-Acquired Infections?
Much of the responsibility for reducing the risk of hospital-acquired infections lies with the hospital and its staff. Here are a few things you can do to be a safer patient:
· Talk to your doctor about risks, ask for information, and ask how the hospital works to prevent and identify infections. Ask which tests will be done to make sure you receive the right antibiotics in case of infection.
· Wash your hands and make sure all medical staff clean their hands before touching you.
· Know the symptoms of infection, including redness, pain, drainage at the site, or fever. Speak up if you experience any of these symptoms.
If you’ve contracted an infection while in hospital care, don’t wait: contact an experienced New Jersey medical malpractice attorney who can help you determine what happened and fight for the compensation you deserve.