Healthcare-associated infections, also referred to as HAIs, are infections that stem from devices health care employees use during medical procedures, such as surgical tools, catheters, and ventilators. When health centers and their workers fail to properly sterilize equipment, comply with industry health and safety standards, or care for patient wounds, medical devices can transmit serious infections to patients during routine procedures.
If you or a loved one have suffered harm from health-care associated infections, contact the Chicago-based attorneys at Clifford Law Offices. We have experience in medical malpractice claims, including HAI infections that result from a medical professional’s negligence.
How Do Health Care-Associated Infections Happen?
A healthcare-associated infection is a sickness a patient can develop from unsanitary medical devices or lack of proper patient care. The most common forms are urinary tract infections, bloodstream infections, surgical site infections, and pneumonia. At least one in 31 hospital patients on any given day has a healthcare-associated infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With proper care, these infections are usually preventable. Common reasons for healthcare-associated infections include:
- Ignoring infection control protocols, such as washing hands
- Lack of proper patient surveillance
- Lack of adequate infection prevention measures
- Unsanitary tools, devices, and/or premises
- Failure to isolate a patient from potential sources of infection
- Contaminated organ transplantation
- Poor postoperative patient care
Though medical professionals can make mistakes that are not malpractice, they must reasonably provide for the health and safety of patients. This includes preventing healthcare-associated infection whenever possible by following infection control guidelines. When someone negligently breaches protocol, resulting in patient infection, the victim may have cause for a medical malpractice case.
Dangerous HAI Viruses and Bacteria
HAI occur from a spectrum of viruses and bacteria. Some of the most common are:
- Acinetobacter baumannii. Though this kind of bacteria is not harmful to most healthy people, it can be devastating to someone who are ill. Unfortunately, they often live in intensive care units and rarely occur outside of healthcare facilities.
- Clostridium difficile. Causing inflammation of the colon that could lead to diarrhea and dehydration, this type of bacteria is from fecal matter on a caregiver’s hands to that encounters a wound.
- Ethicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA. Notoriously difficult to treat, MRSA is a common hospital-born virus that can appear on the skin but spread to the bloodstream. Patients can suffer infection from direct contact or an open wound.
If you or your family has suffered an HAI infection like the ones above, it may be due to negligence. However, many strains of HAI exist. Talk with us about the circumstances of your infection case during a free consultation. We know exactly how to build strong cases, file lawsuits within the deadline, and obtain fair compensation for our clients. Review our past case results.
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Healthcare-associated infections are often more serious than other infections because they infect people who are already ill. Though most people think of treatable infections, some HAIs are incurable, like HIV or HepC. Ventilator-associated pneumonia, surgical site infections, central line-associated bloodstream infections, and catheter-associated urinary tract infections are all situation where infections can thrive. If you’ve suffered an infection after being in a hospital or medical facility, call (312) 899-9090 to discuss your situation in more detail with a Chicago attorney. Your first consultation at Clifford Law Offices is free.