For many individuals in Arizona, visiting doctors’ offices and hospitals is necessary. However, while receiving medical care is essential in many cases, thousands of people each year acquire serious infections while at a hospital. When a hospital-acquired infection (HAI) occurs, long-term complications—or even death—can result.
If you or a loved one contracted an infection while at Abrazo Hospital, Banner Hospital, or Scottsdale Healthcare, you may want to consider meeting with an attorney who will evaluate the details of your situation and advise you of your legal options.
Types of Hospital-Acquired Infections
HAIs, also known as nosocomial infections, are infections acquired in hospitals or other healthcare facilities. These infections can be moderate to severe and may present themselves while the patient is still hospitalized, weeks after an operation, or in the days after a hospital discharge.
Below are some types of HAIs:
- Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs)
- Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABIs)
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
- Surgical site infections (SSIs)
- Ventilator-associated pneumonia
Some infections, such as urinary tract infections, are usually not life-threatening and can be treated easily. Other types of infections, such as MRSA, are especially hard to treat and can be much more serious or even deadly.
Risk Factors for Hospital-Acquired Infections
Those who are in a hospital are often at a much greater risk for acquiring an infection than are those who are healthy and not hospitalized. This is because those who endure hospital stays tend to be the very old, the very young, and those with deficient immune systems—all of which are factors that increase a person’s susceptibility for infection.
In addition to being elderly, young, or having a compromised immune system, other risk factors for becoming the victim of a HAI include length of stay, surgical procedures, antibiotics use, open wounds, staying in a high-risk area (such as an intensive care unit), and the use of equipment for invasive procedures.
Causes of HAIs
Though the risk factors listed above increase a patient’s risk of contracting an infection at a hospital, many cases are preventable. Some patients acquire infections as a result of interactions with infectious patients. Others suffer infections because of medical negligence.
When poor hospital procedures are in place, a patient is at greater risk of sustaining an HAI. Below are some factors that may increase risk of HAIs, according to HealthyPeople.gov.
- Lack of communication among hospital staff
- Improper sanitization techniques
- Improper care or use of medical devices
- Contaminated air conditioning systems
- Poor nurse-to-patient ratios
- Complications during surgery
- Using single-use medication vials for multiple patients
- Substandard layout of a hospital (such as beds being too close together)
Review the factors that may have contributed to your infection with a hospital-acquired infection lawyer in Phoenix so you can work on establishing liability for resulting damages.
Who’s Liable for Your Infection?
If the infection was acquired as a result of a medical professional’s irresponsible actions—such as failing to sanitize equipment properly or administering incorrect antibiotics dosage—and if those actions lead to your condition, the medical professional or the hospital itself may be held liable.
Consider Seeking Legal Counsel Today
Lawsuits relating to medical malpractice must be filed within two years from the date the injury (infection) occurred. Therefore, if you wish to recover compensation, you should consider taking action immediately.
Our firm guides you through the process of filing your claim and helps gather the evidence necessary to prove negligence so you can recover costs relating to hospital bills and medical treatment, lost wages, and diminished quality of life.