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Hospital Infections: When Being in the Hospital Made Your Illness Worse

Updated August 24, 2020 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

Some of the most important things that a patient needs to be aware of in a medical facility are the do’s and don’t of the hospital. These guidelines are important because it is common for people to acquire a new illness while surrounded by harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi in a hospital.

You are in a building full of people who are all sick in their own way, and you’re likely take extra precautions, like washing your hands regularly, to prevent additional illnesses. The last thing you should have to think about is whether your nurse or physician washed their hands before treating you.

Hospital Infections and Medical Malpractice

Hospital infections, also known as nosocomial infections, are illnesses acquired two to three after days being admitted to a hospital or similar medical facility. There are many different types of infections that can be acquired and a few potential causes. Medical malpractice is one of the more common causes of hospital infections.

Patients Who Acquire Hospital Infections

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 3% of patents admitted into medical facilities acquired some type of infection in 2015. That’s roughly one in 31 patients on any given day. These patients typically include young children, the elderly, or people whose immune systems have been compromised during their treatment. Unfortunately, the people who get these infections are therefore the least likely to be able to fight them off.

It is important that you defend yourself against such infections. However, while being treated, you may find it hard to be aware of all the possible causes of infections that you’re facing. Your nurses and physicians should follow protocols to keep you healthy. If they fail to do this, you may need to contact an attorney that can help you build a case against the medical institution.

Certain Infections Are More Common Than Others

Though there is a wide variety of infections and issues a person can acquire during their time in a medical facility, there are a few that seem to occur more frequently. These include the following:

  • Central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI)
  • Catheter-associate urinary tract infections (CAUTI)
  • Surgical site infection (SSI)
  • Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP)

These infections are caused by microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi that are found in the hospital. For example, a urinary tract infection can be acquired by through the insertion of a Foley catheter that has not been properly maintained and removed from the patient—potentially a case of medical malpractice.

Consequences of Hospital Infections

Hospital infections can be serious. Not only do they mean you and your loved ones will have to deal with the emotional impact of a new illness, but they also mean you will have to begin the diagnosis and treatment process all over again, possibly including the following:

  • Potentially harmful new illness
  • Longer recovery time
  • Extended stay in the hospital
  • Increased medical costs associated with extended stay

Some hospitals may fail to take ownership of the new infection you’re dealing with. You should not be responsible for paying any additional charges for an illness that arose due to medical malpractice.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of medical malpractice, you are urged to contact the attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. An experienced Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyer at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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