When Can You Sue for Hospital Infections?
Hospital-acquired infections are more common than most people realize, and they can have devastating effects on those who contract the infection. Although there has been significant progress made over the last few decades in preventing many healthcare-associated infections, there is still a long way to go.
In some cases, a hospital-acquired infection may be the result of medical malpractice on the part of one or more medical professionals. If you are somebody you care about has been harmed due to an infection acquired in a healthcare facility, you need to know when you can file a lawsuit to recover compensation. For more information, contact a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer today.
Hospital-Acquired Infection Statistics
According to data available from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one out of every 31 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-acquired infection every day in the US. The CDC says that 3% of hospitalized patients in a recent survey had one or more healthcare-acquired infections.
More alarming than infection rates are the number of people the CDC says lost their lives due to these infections during their hospitalization. During a recent survey year, the CDC says that 72,000 hospital patients died due to infections acquired at the facility. If a loved one has died due to a hospital’s negligence, you may have ground to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Contact our Chicago wrongful death lawyers now for a free consultation.
There are various types of hospital-acquired infections that can harm a patient. This includes the following:
- Surgical site infections. These are infections that will be close to a surgical incision site. These infections are typically caused by a lack of proper cleaning and sanitation during the procedure as well as during post-operative care.
- Device-related infections. Devices that are inserted into a person’s body risk introducing infection. This includes catheters, breathing tubes, central lines, and other IVs. Infections occur when the device is are not properly sanitized or the insertion site is not properly cleaned. Complications can include sepsis, organ failure, severe site-specific infection, or death.
- Respiratory infections. Medical facilities are often filled with bacteria, viruses, and fungi that can be found in the air or on materials in the building. If any of these are inhaled, patients can experience a respiratory infection.
How To Know If You Have A Case Of Medical Malpractice
If you believe that you or a loved one acquired an infection in a healthcare facility, you need to speak to a Chicago personal injury attorney as soon as possible. There are various elements that need to be in place in order for a medical malpractice lawsuit to be successful. This includes the following:
- There was a doctor-patient relationship between you and the medical provider.
- The medical provider had an obligation to provide you with the standard of care expected within the medical community.
- The medical provider’s level of care fell below the acceptable standard due to their careless or negligent conduct.
- The medical provider’s breach of duty directly caused the infection.
- You suffered some sort of monetary damages as a result of the infection, such as medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering damage, and more.
If you or a loved one sustained a healthcare-acquired infection caused by the negligence of a medical provider, you could be entitled to various types of compensation. This can include coverage of medical bills, lost income, loss of personal enjoyment damages, general household out-of-pocket expenses, and more.