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Medical Malpractice > Hospital Infections

Thousands of hospital patients contract infections during a hospital stay, which causes many preventable deaths, forces patients to extend their hospital stays, and cost patients additional money.

Officials feel that the numbers of people affected by hospital-acquired infections is actually much higher due to the gross underreporting by many hospitals.

As health care spending has increased, employers, which often pay the bills, have begun pressing hospitals to work to reduce a variety of mistakes, from incorrect medications to avoidable infections. Generally hospitals report the number of infections contracted in the hospital in four major categories:

Surgical Infections (Postoperative)

Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

Blood Stream Infections


The most common reported infections were urinary tract infections (UTI) transmitted to patients while using a catheter. Methicillin-resistant staph infections and blood stream infections associated with intravenous catheters are also a huge problem.

Patients who developed pneumonia while using a ventilator have had the highest death rate. Many times the transmission of these infections are a medical error caused by the negligence of a physician or other health care professional, a case of medical malpractice. Some health care providers report that to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia cases, simple steps such as keeping the patient's head elevated and ensuring the patient breathes independently for at least a few minutes each day can prevent an infection.

The most important prevention strategy to reducing the number of infections and deaths is simple, frequent hand washing by your health care providers. Shaving, a common procedure before surgery can creates abrasions that can become easily infected. The preferred technique is clipping of the hair.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta has reported that as many as 2 million infections are acquired in hospitals each year, across the country, resulting in 90,000 preventable deaths.

If you or a loved one has contracted an infection while in the hospital, after surgery or at another health care facility, you may be the victim of medical malpractice. It is important that you know your rights and that your case is evaluated by an attorney.

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Hospital Infections
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