Imagine going to a Virginia or DC hospital for a routine procedure and finding yourself clinging to life from a deadly infection. It may sound like the stuff that movies are made of, but in reality, it happens more frequently than doctors and hospital administrators would like to admit. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, hospital infections are estimated to cause 100,000 deaths each year and end up costing as much as 30 billion dollars a year in additional medical costs.
One in 20 patients that enter the hospital end up being treated for an infection that they contracted from being in the hospital. Among the infections are superbugs that are difficult to treat, like C-diff and MRSA. Recently hospitals have attempted to reduce the number of infections by employing new methods of cleanliness.
The new ideas include:
- Machines that emit ultraviolet light or hydrogen peroxide vapors
- Copper bed rails, call buttons, and IV poles
- Antimicrobial paint, curtains, and linens
Unfortunately, the true impact of these improvements is debatable. There is no widely accepted evidence that these inventions have actually prevented illnesses. The CDC says there is no replacement for washing hands rigorously with soap and water, wearing gloves, and cleaning rooms intensively with bleach. To make things more complicated, the Medicare program has moved to stop paying bills for certain infections caught in the hospital. Other insurance companies are expected to follow suit if infection occurrences continue to rise.
If you or a loved one suffered from an infection contracted at a hospital, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Shevlin Smith. We have the knowledge and experience to deal with insurance companies and hospitals on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve. Call 703.591.0067 today!