Hospitals, especially Intensive Care Units (ICUs), are supposed to be clean, sterile environments. According to a recent study published in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), more than half of all patients in ICUs around the world develop infections and are more than twice as likely to die than those patients without infections. Hospital-acquired infections are a potential consequence of any invasive procedure, but may also develop as a result of negligence, which is why if you have suspicions, you should contact an experienced Chicago medical malpractice lawyer.
The JAMA study is an update to a similar study performed 12 years ago. Both recorded the prevalence of infections and treatment with antibiotics on a single day in hospitals worldwide. This year’s study collected data for May 8, 2007 from nearly 14,000 adult patients treated at nearly 1,300 ICUs in 75 countries.
Its findings demonstrate that preventive measures and best practices are being ignored in our nation’s hospitals. Some of these preventive measures and best practices include washing hands before and after treatment or a procedure, proper disposal of waste and proper sterilization and cleaning of items such as catheters and surgical tools. If your have lost a loved one due to a preventable infection at a hospital, talk to a personal injury lawyer today about a potential cause of action.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) defines hospital acquired infections, or healthcare-acquired infections (HAI) as “infections that patients acquire during the course of receiving treatment for other conditions within a healthcare setting.” The CDC states that HAIs are in the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States.
There are many different types of infections that can be acquired in a hospital or other health care facility. The five most common, according to the CDC, are:
• Urinary Tract
• Surgical Site
Getting an infection while in the hospital can create additional complications, and in the worst case, lead to death. There are many factors that contribute to hospital infections, including medical negligence, so it is important to consult Passen & Powell’s experienced personal injury attorneys about your case. Call us at (312) 527-4500 for a Free Consultation.