Study Finds Many Hospital-Acquired Infections are Due to Ignorance and Neglect

Patients enter hospitals for medical treatment that will hopefully improve their health, or at the very least prevent their health from getting worse. But every year tens of thousands of patients are hurt by preventable infections that they acquire while getting treatment in Virginia hospitals. Many of these patients seek the expertise of Washington D.C. and Virginia medical malpractice lawyers to help them recover the damages to which they are legally entitled.

Hospital Infections Cause Many Deaths and Injuries Every Year

The CDC estimates that between 5 and 10 percent of patients in acute care hospitals acquire at least one infection during their stay.* Approximately 100,000 people die from these infections each year, and many more require extensive treatment. Many hospital-acquired infections are particularly resistant to antibiotics, making them difficult to treat effectively.

Hospital Infections are Usually Caused by Neglect

On July 12, 2010, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology released the results of a study on the causes of hospital infections. The study found that the main reasons for hospital infections were ignorance and neglect. Almost all hospital-acquired infections could be eliminated if hospital personnel took the following basic steps: (1) washed their hands before touching a patient; (2) wore sterile hats, masks, gowns, and gloves; (3) cleaned patients’ skin with an effective antiseptic; (4) covered patients with sterile drapes; and (5) put sterile dressings over catheter sites.

Contact an experienced Virginia or Washington D.C. Medical Malpractice Lawyer if you’ve been hurt by a hospital infection.

Hospital infections are easy to prevent. If you’ve been hurt by a hospital-acquired infection, or if you’ve lost a loved one to such an infection, then you may be entitled to damages. Contact a Washington D.C. and Virginia medical malpractice attorney at Shevlin Smith for more information about your rights.

*Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, Hospital Acquired Infections FAQs

*Source:  Washington Post, “Hospital Infection Deaths Caused by Ignorance and Neglect, Survey Finds” by N.C. Aizenman, July 13, 2010

Michael J. Shevlin
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Specializing in medical malpractice and serious personal injury cases since 1994.