Hospitals are breeding grounds for germs that can cause illness, lasting injury or death if proper procedures to avoid hospital-acquired infections are not followed. Unfortunately, these germs are often spread due to medical negligence. The medical professionals and hospital staff responsible for causing infections should be held accountable for the harm they cause.
If you or a loved one has suffered hospital infection, contact Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. today to learn about your legal options. Call us toll free or contact us online today. Our Chicago hospital infection lawyers can provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation. We serve medical negligence victims throughout Chicago, Waukegan, Cook County, Lake County and across Illinois.
Negligence Causes Hospital-Acquired Infections
Hospital patients are often very sick and cannot fight off germs, and the types of germs that cause hospital-acquired infections are often more dangerous than those encountered in the community, says the PubMed Health website.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, for instance, is a bacterium that causes infections. This can cause mild skin infections or more serious infections that get into surgical wounds, the lungs, bloodstream or urinary tract.
Resources for the Future estimates that 1 in 20 patients admitted to a hospital for routine surgery or other treatments contracts a serious infection that they did not have when they were admitted to the hospital. The Washington, D.C., think tank conservatively estimates that 48,000 deaths are caused each year by hospital infections.
Unfortunately, these infections often result from negligence. Common causes include:
- Failure to wash hands – A 2011 study by the Association for Psychological Science found that health care professionals wash their hands only about a third to half of the time after coming into contact with germs.
- Failure to control the spread of waterborne microorganisms – Examples include failing to properly clean and disinfect sinks and wash basins and failing to eliminate contaminated water or fluid (solutions) in equipment reservoirs.
- Use of dirty surgical instruments – An investigative report released by the Centers for Public Integrity in 2012 said hospitals do not clean instruments properly and, in fact, surgical instruments made of new alloys cannot be properly cleaned.
- Failure to use double-gloving during surgery – Medical professionals should wear two sets of gloves when performing surgery in which sharp surfaces are formed (such as dental or orthopedic surgery).
- Failure to follow cleaning and disinfecting strategies – Proper steps should be taken to clean areas after blood spills or spills of blood-containing body fluids.
- Failure to follow special handling and disposal precautions for certain items – Needles, scalpels, anatomy, pathology and laboratory waste and blood (including bulk blood, blood products and bloody body fluid specimens) must be properly disposed.
Failing to order tests and failing to recognize and follow up after tests that indicate abnormalities are also leading causes of deaths due to hospital infections.
Regretfully, a Resources for the Future report found that hospitals have little financial incentive to control infections.
Call Our Chicago Hospital Infection Lawyers Today
A Chicago hospital infection attorney with experience in medical malpractice claims, such as those at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. in Chicago, can evaluate the circumstances of your injury or your loved one’s injury or death following a hospital-acquired infection. Our attorneys work with accredited medical experts to determine whether healthcare standards were met. We can advise you of your legal options.
Keep in mind: There are strict deadlines for filing medical malpractice lawsuits. So, please don’t delay in taking action to protect your rights. We represent hospital infection victims throughout Chicago, Waukegan, Cook County, Lake County and across Illinois. Call us today toll free or fill out our online form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation about your case.