People enter hospitals to recover from their illnesses and injuries, but far too often, patients acquire new health conditions in medical facilities. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 1 in 25 patients contracts a preventable infection from a health-care center. These are called nosocomial infections.
If you contracted a nosocomial infection, contact the Bowling Law Firm. David A. Bowling is a medical malpractice lawyer in New Orleans who will evaluate your case to determine if you have grounds for a claim. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost income and noneconomic damages.
Here are the answers to eight FAQs about hospital-acquired infections:
1. What are the different types of nosocomial infections?
Urinary tract infections are the most common hospital infection. According to the World Health Organization, blood infections, surgical site infections and pneumonia are also common preventable conditions in medical facilities.
2. What causes hospital-acquired infections?
Medical facilities are hotbeds of germs and bacteria. Unfortunately, many hospital patients have compromised immune systems because they are ill, so they are vulnerable to infections. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the risk of infection increases if the hospital is in poor condition or the medical staff does not follow proper procedures.
3. What are the risk factors for nosocomial infections?
Anyone who enters a hospital can contract an illness, but patients with compromised immune systems and those in intensive care are at the highest risk.
4. What symptoms indicate a hospital-acquired infection?
The symptoms can vary depending on the specific type of infection. Common symptoms include abscesses, fever, discharge and inflammation. Visible signs, such as redness or oozing, may be evident, along with irritation and pain at the infection site.
5. How do doctors diagnose nosocomial infections?
Most hospital infections are easy to see. Inflammation, rashes and pus indicate possible infection. Doctors will test blood and urine to identify the exact bacteria responsible.
6. How do you treat these infections?
The type of pathogen and your condition will determine your treatment. Your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics.
7. What is the prognosis for nosocomial infections?
Most of these cases resolve after treatment, but a hospital-acquired infection can be deadly. It is paramount that doctors detect and treat patients early and under the ideal conditions for recovery.
8. Are hospital-acquired infections preventable?
Poor hand hygiene is responsible for an estimated 40 percent of hospital-acquired infections, according to the WHO. Medical personnel can prevent many cases my washing their hands and wearing the appropriate clothing. Doctors can also prevent infections or reduce their severity with antibiotics.
If you were the victim of medical malpractice in Louisiana, contact the Bowling Law Firm. David A. Bowling is a New Orleans wrongful death attorney who will guide you through the claims process.
Mr. Bowling has more than 30 years of trial experience. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation.