Patients go to the hospital to seek professional medical care for a variety of symptoms and emergency situations. They put their trust in a sanitary, orderly establishment that can aid them. It’s tragic then that hospitals can be breeding grounds for life-threatening bacteria. Hospital-acquired infections are a fairly common occurrence, though it’s not often that these infections are life-threatening. In many cases, the infection is caught quickly and treated before it gets out of hand. But if left untreated, a hospital-acquired infection can become deadly.
Hospital–Acquired Infection (HAI) and Causes
To understand how an HAI can turn deadly, one first needs to know what an HAI is. An HAI is a type of infection that is acquired in a hospital that has no relation to the patient’s admitted diagnosis or ailment. The infections usually take hold within 48 hours of being in a hospital. HAIs are largely caused by a commination of factors. They can be attributed to equipment that has not been properly sterilized, negligent hospital staff that did not properly wash their hands, failure to administer proper antibiotics, and even defective equipment.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, HAIs affect over one out of twenty hospital patients. At this rate, statistics suggest that HAIs kill nearly 90,000 patients per year, making infection control a main priority for hospital staff and medical professionals. HAIs left untreated often lead to a variety of advanced infections that can kill, the most common of which is sepsis.
Sepsis is an infection of the blood that spreads throughout the body and causes inflammation, rapid heart rate, high fever and more. Sepsis can cause severe injury, debilitating vital organs and destroying the immune system. Though it can be treated, it should be noted that over 40% of sepsis-infected patients are killed by the infection.
Nobody should have to live with the severe consequences of a hospital-acquired infection, especially when the infections could have been avoided altogether. If you or a loved one has suffered injury due to a hospital-acquired infection, you need to speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can fight for you. You may be eligible for monetary compensation for lost time at work and medical expenses related to your HAI. Contact the personal injury lawyers at Andres & Berger today!