Hospital-Associated Infection Lawyers in Orlando
Did You Suffer a Healthcare-Associated Infection? Talk to Us
We go to hospitals when we are sick and want to be healed. Yet, every year, Americans who check into hospitals with one ailment end up contracting another infection or illness. In the most severe cases, the infection or illness can takes a patient’s life.
Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are infections that patients acquire when receiving medical treatment in a healthcare facility. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each day, approximately 1 out of every 31 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection. Further, an estimated 72,000 hospital patients with such infections died during their hospitalizations in 2015 alone. Perhaps the worst fact about these potentially deadly infections is that they are often highly preventable.
Common Causes of Hospital Infections
Unfortunately, the prevalence of HAIs suggests that many American healthcare facilities are allowing breakdowns to occur with regard to important safety protocols – especially protocols regarding sanitation – which puts the health of their patients in danger.
HAIs are commonly caused by problems associated with medical devices that are inserted into a patient’s body and left there, including catheters, ventilators, and central lines. When such devices are left in for too long or are not cleaned properly, this can result in serious complications, such as urinary tract infections.
Certain types of bacteria can also become a huge factor in the development of HAIs. There are many germs present in hospitals, which is why following protocols regarding proper sanitation and sterilization is so important. Infections often arise from the bacterium Clostridium difficile (often called "C. diff"), which can lead to serious gastrointestinal problems. The bacterium Staphylococcus aureus often results in what are commonly referred to as staph infections.
It is especially dangerous for certain vulnerable types of patients, including elderly patients, young children, and patients who are already critically ill, to contract HAIs.
Symptoms of Infection
There are a number of symptoms that signal that a patient might have an HAI. These include a surgical wound that is hot and painful, seeping pus, or foul-smelling. In addition, the patient may suffer from low blood pressure, a high body temperature, excessive fatigue, or confusion.
In certain cases, two factors can make it hard to diagnose an HAI. First, many of the symptoms of an infection can be mistaken for the regular aftereffects of surgery, especially if the patient has undergone a significant procedure. Second, the infection may not manifest itself for several days or weeks after it was contracted, and the patient might have been discharged home before the symptoms of the infection start to show.
When Is a Hospital Guilty of Negligence?
Sometimes, patients get infections even when best medical practices are followed. However, there are certain standards that all hospitals are expected to maintain in order to prevent these infections. A hospital’s failure to meet these standards can constitute negligence.
Hospital personnel’s failure to properly monitor patients after surgery, to regularly change bandages and/or equipment, or to fully sanitize instruments before treating patients are signs that the hospital is likely at fault for an infection. If the hospital is understaffed or is trying to cut corners in order to save money, this can lead to such shortcuts, resulting in substandard care.
Protect Yourself with a Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you or a loved one contracted an infection while in an Orlando hospital, the hospital is responsible for making sure you get the treatment you need to recover. If the hospital staff behaved negligently, you may have the right to be fully compensated for any damages resulting from the infection, including any financial loss, rehabilitation, and pain and suffering.
Hospitals are often protected by powerful insurance companies and have their own aggressive legal teams. If you want to protect yourself, you need a medical malpractice attorney who has firsthand knowledge of this unique area of law. The law firm of Faiella & Gulden, P.A., has over forty years of experience protecting Orlando-area patients. For a free case evaluation, please call us at (407) 647-6111 today.
We require no legal retainer or upfront fees, and you pay nothing unless we prevail. Call us for your free consultation.