Securing Compensation for Hospital Illnesses
Individuals enter the hospital to get better and not worse. Unfortunately, for hundreds of thousands of patients, going into the hospital means coming out with sicknesses they didn’t have upon admission. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in every 25 patients catches a healthcare associated infection (HAI) every day. AN HAI is an illness that is prevalent in hospitals and infects patients while they are receiving treatment for other conditions. These illness are so common that virtually every patient is susceptible to them.
Illnesses Caused by HAIs
When exposed to an HAI, patients can develop various injuries on top of the underlying conditions. These illnesses include:
- Meningitis – This occurs when membranes surrounding the spinal cord and brain become inflamed. Its proximity to the brain makes it a serious, life threatening condition.
- Pneumonia – This occurs when bacteria enters the lungs and pus fills the air sacs within the lungs. The lungs inflame, constricting the breathing process.
- Infections of the bloodstream (septicemia or fungal) – Bacteria in the blood stream can quickly spread throughout the body, leading to severe illness or death.
- Gastrointestinal illnesses – When parasites infect the gastrointestinal tract, diarrhea and vomiting may occur. In the most serious of cases, severe stomach pains and bloody stools may occur.
- Urinary tract Infections – When infection enters the urinary tract, it can also attack the bladder and kidneys.
- Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism – These conditions occur when a blood clot develops following knee and hip replacement procedures
In 2011, more than 700,000 patients reported receiving an HAI, according to the CDC. Almost 10 percent of these patients died during their hospital stay. The most common causes of these infections include:
- The usage of catheters, which can cause infection within the urinary tract;
- Surgical instrument loss, which occurs when a surgeon leaves a medical instrument inside of a patient’s body;
- The usage of an intravenous central line, which causes a bloodstream infection;
- Surgery site infections. These are extremely common, occurring at a rate of one in every 50 operations; and
- The passage of infective spores, which can lead to clostridium difficile infection, which is can cause severe abdominal pain and gastrointestinal difficulties
The cost for these procedures is significant. These often result in financial burdens related to additional necessary treatments, as well as the physical pain of the HAI and the emotional challenges of dealing with an unexpected bout of illness. When these situations occur, victims deserve adequate compensation from the at-fault medical facility, but these cases can prove challenging based on the technical basis of the evidence presented to the court. For this reason, it is vitally important to secure the services of an experienced and competent attorney.
If you or someone you love became ill with an HAI during a hospital stay, our West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at Gary Roberts & Associate, P.A. are here to help. Call the office or contact us today for a free and confidential consultation of your case.