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“HAI” Risk: The Dangers of Healthcare-Associated Infections

Posted on - Wednesday, February 17, 2016 under Medical Malpractice

When we go to the hospital for surgery or other treatment, we expect to leave the hospital in better condition than we arrived. Unfortunately, hospitals can also be a breeding ground for infections and other complications that can lead to readmissions, additional treatment, or serious adverse health consequences.

Surgical operating room with equipment

The problem of “healthcare-associated infections” (HAI) is a large one. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1 of every 25 hospitalized patients in the United States has an HAI at any given time. A CDC study of HAIs in 2011 concluded that about 722,000 hospital patients contracted an infection during their stay that year alone.  About 75,000 hospital patients with HAIs died during their hospitalizations that year, adding billions of dollars in costs to our health-care system.

According to the CDC study, the estimated number of hospital patients who acquired infections during their stay included patients who suffered the following kinds of infections:

  • Pneumonia:                                     157,500 patients
  • Gastrointestinal illness:             123,100 patients
  • Urinary tract infections:             93,300 patients
  • Primary bloodstream infections: 71,900 patients
  • Surgical site infections:             157,500 patients
  • Other types of infections:             118,500 patients

As the CDC notes, many if most hospital infections are preventable. As such, in 2009 the CDC issued its National Action Plan to Prevent Health Care-Associated Infections: Road Map to Elimination. The plan identified specific actions that hospitals and healthcare workers can and should take to reduce the risk of HAIs.

If you suffered from an infection after surgery or a hospital stay and experienced adverse health consequences, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries. If the hospital, physicians, nurses, or other workers at the hospital failed to follow proper procedures to prevent infections or otherwise were negligent in their care, they may be held liable for such failures.

At The Parian Law Firm in metro Atlanta, Georgia, we represent injury victims exclusively and are committed to getting justice and compensation for our clients. Please contact us at (770) 727-5550 or chat live online with a member of our staff today.