Jul 21

Increased Hospital Infections and Medical Malpractice

Healthcare-Associated Infections HAI - Scranton PA

Posted on July 21, 2019 — by Tom Foley III

Surgery in an operating roomWe count on doctors and surgeons to help us get better, which is why medical mistakes are especially tragic. Errors by any member of the medical staff could lead to serious health problems. At the Foley Law Firm, our attorneys take medical malpractice and negligence by doctors and staff extremely seriously, and have built a strong reputation in the Scranton, PA area for strong legal representation.

Given the nature of hospitals, there is a high risk of infection that must not be ignored. Our lawyers would like to consider some facts about infections at hospitals and consider some ways that they may come about.

Statistics on Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI)

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were an estimated 687,000 healthcare-associated infections at American acute care hospitals in 2015. It’s estimated that 72,000 hospital patients who acquired an infection at a medical facility died while at the hospital.

The CDC also notes that on an average day, 1 in 31 hospital patients has at least one infection from the medical facility that are currently in.

Infections During Surgical Procedures

Surgical infection is a major risk that has to be considered at hospitals. The infection may result from poor sterilization of devices and equipment, improper scrubbing and cleaning by surgeons prior to the surgical procedure, and issues with post-op care at the hospital.

Infection from Unchanged Dressings and Bandages

One potential cause of post-op infection has to do with surgical dressing and bandages. The incision sites must be kept clean and dressings must be changed regularly to help ensure that infection does not occur. Failure to change bandages can lead to infection.

Infections Due to Needles and IVs

Hypodermic needles and IVs are common at hospitals, and they can be a cause of infection if they are not used properly. Whether administering medication, drawing blood, inserting a catheter, or checking someone’s glucose levels, Scranton hospitals must ensure that they are using clean, sterilized needles every time.

Infections from Poor Intubation

Intubation is essential when a person is under general anesthetic or unable to breath on their own. Establishing a functioning airway can lead to problems if a patient suffers an intubation injury. This could be the result of an inexperienced member of the medical staff initially placing the tube, or if an endotracheal tube is not monitored for biofilm and regularly cleaned.

Infection Due to Unsanitary Linens

Given the risk of infection at hospitals, beds must be made and sheets changed regularly. If the same linens remain on a bed and are not changed, it greatly increase the risk of infection. It’s crucial that nurses and orderlies properly clean linens and ensure sanitary conditions for all patients at the hospital.

Infection Due to Poor Sanitation

Linens and beddings aren’t the only potential cause of infection. General cleanliness and upkeep of a hospital can make a world of difference when it comes to the risk of infection. Biohazardous waste must be disposed of properly, floors must be swept and mopped, and proper disinfectant products have to be used to keep the hospital as clean as possible.

Speak with a Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you live in Scranton and are looking for more information about your legal options following an infection in a hospital, be sure to contact a skilled medical malpractice lawyer. The team at the Foley Law Firm can be reached by phone at (570) 342-8194.

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