A hospital acquired infection (HAI), is a nosocomial infection favored by a hospital environment that can be acquired by a patient during hospitalization or hospital visit. Bacterial and fungal infections are aggravated by the condition the patient is in and is usually resistant to more antibiotics than a regular infection.Hospital Acquired Infection Claim Picture
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 1.7 million cases of hospital acquired infection in the United States that contribute or cause the death of 99,000 patients each year. Gram-negative infections in Europe cause 25,000 deaths annually. Many types of nosocomial infections cause severe infections of the bloodstream, urinary tract, and pneumonia. Although a hospital is required to provide a healthy and sterile environment, there are cases when patients contract such life-threatening infections because of medical negligence.
Contracting a hospital acquired infection is a frustrating experience for both patients, who end up in the hospital because of minor illness or injury and patients with serious conditions and a weak immune system. Furthermore, the families, dependents and loves ones can suffer financially and psychologically. Many times these infections, such as Clostridium Difficile Colitis and MRSA occur because of medical negligence. Hospital and medical centers have strict hygiene controls designed to prevent the spread of these infections.
Over the last 15 years the presence of Methicillin-resistant Staphyloccus Aureus (MRSA) in medical institutions has increased, causing more deaths and very resistant strains. This bacteria can live on the skin or inside the nose without causing harm. When it reaches an open wound it causes endocarditis, septicaemia, bone, joint and skin infections. There are only a few effective antibiotics in treating MRSA. However, it is not always negligent to acquire this bacteria, depending on how the hospital tried to prevent you from getting infected and how they managed it after you have acquired the infection. Furthermore, airborne acquisition of MRSA does not imply a lapse in the standard of care, because it cannot be prevented by standard precautions.
Although there have been some successful cases relating a hospital acquired infection claim, bringing a cause in negligence has been very difficult in the past. This type of claim involves several issues, including a delay in diagnosing and treating the infection, lack of good medical care, correct or incorrect treatment ans if you were screened for any infection before your admittance. Each patients has the right to request a MRSA swab upon admission and prior to any surgical procedure. Notes should be taken about the hygienic procedures and if the healthcare workers are respecting the procedures, because these factors are important for a successful claim.
The limit for a hospital acquired infection claim is usually set three years before the date of the event, although there may be different time limits. To determine whether you claim will be successful or not, you must consider multiple factors, such as delays in recognizing and treating the infection, if you were screened for C Difficile or MRSA upon admission, if there was any type of medical negligence, including poor wound care, inappropriate use of antibiotics or lack of monitoring and if the infection was treated appropriately after detection. If you have a substantial claim, contact an experienced medical negligence solicitor who can help you through the process.