It is always a stressful situation when you or a loved one must seek medical treatment at a hospital or other medical care facility. But we go to these places because we believe in the everlasting hope that getting treatment there will help make us well again. But for thousands of people every year, that treatment ends up making a bad situation worse because they contract an infection unrelated to their initial problem.
Health care associated infections are infections contracted by patients in health care facilities, such as hospitals, nursing homes and dialysis centers, while receiving treatment. This is because illness, injury and the invasive nature of medical procedures leave patients especially vulnerable to infection by germs and pathogens that are prevalent in health care facilities. These germs and pathogens move easily from patient to patient when proper cleaning techniques are not used, worker hands are not properly sanitized and equipment is not properly sterilized.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 722,000 of such infections occur annually in the United States. This represents about one out of every 25 patients. About 10 percent, or 75,000, of those patients die because of the infection.
Contracting a health care associated infection can be physically, financially and emotionally devastating. When a hospital or health care facility fails to take proper steps to prevent the spread of these infections, it can be held liable for hospital negligence and required to compensate the injured patient or the patient’s family.
New Orleans residents who believe they have been harmed by the failure of hospital staff or other care facility personnel to take adequate measures to protect against such infections may be entitled to compensation. The first step is consulting with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney.