Individuals who are admitted to the hospital are often suffering from serious medical conditions and require stabilization and treatment. For this reason, it is highly important that hospitals maintain a sterile and safe environment for their patients. Unfortunately, medical professionals can make mistakes like anyone else and, at times, these errors can result in the spread of new infections to patients.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported1 that, in 2011 alone, nearly 722,000 individuals contracted hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), also referred to as nosocomial infections.2 This means that approximately one of every 25 patients got an infection while hospitalized. Furthermore, an estimated 75,000 of these patients died as a result of their nosocomial infection. Some of the most common HAIs include the following:
- Urinary tract infections
- Gastrointestinal infection
- Infections in the bloodstream
- Infections at surgical sites
These infections can cause many complications for already ill patients and can require an extended period of hospitalization and costly treatments.
Medical malpractice can lead to infection
Not every infection sustained in the hospital is the result of medical malpractice. However, when a hospital professional fails to meet the required duty of care for medical treatment and the negligence leads to your infection, you have the legal right to hold them accountable under Michigan medical malpractice law.3 Some of the types of negligent acts that may lead to a nosocomial infection include:
- Not properly washing hands
- Using non-sterilized medical equipment
- Misusing invasive medical devices
- Not providing adequate post-operative care
- Failing to quarantine infected patients
If the negligence of healthcare professionals led to your hospital-acquired infection, the law allows you file a legal claim against the responsible hospital and/or doctor. By filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, you can recover for any medical expenses you incurred due to the infection, estimated future medical costs, and past and future lost income. In addition to measurable financial losses, a patient may be able to recover for noneconomic losses including pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. The law does place a cap on the amount of noneconomic damages a patient can recover in a medical malpractice case, though many victims of malpractice are able to recover hundreds of thousands of dollars, especially if they suffered serious or permanent injuries as a result of medical negligence.
Contact a Michigan medical malpractice lawyer today to schedule a free case evaluation
People who seek medical treatment at a hospital have the right to assume that the facilities in which they are treated are properly maintained and do not pose a health risk. Unfortunately, thousands of people each year contract an infection due to the negligence of hospital staff. When this occurs, victims are often able to recover significant compensation. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call Stroble Law today at 888-454-0801.