Hospital-acquired infections or healthcare-associated infections (often abbreviated HAI) are a serious concern for many healthcare providers and patients. When patients undergo surgery or treatment in a hospital, they could experience infection of a surgical site, or their prolonged presence in a hospital could leave them vulnerable to infections that often spread in hospital environments.
If you suffered an infection because of your treatment at a hospital, this may constitute medical malpractice or negligence that could entitle you to compensation. Talk to the Dallas attorneys for injury from a hospital infection at The Queenan Law Firm today for help determining whether you have a case and what compensation you may be entitled to. Call us today at (817) 476-1797 to schedule a free legal consultation.
Causes of Healthcare-Acquired Infections from Negligence in Dallas, TX Hospitals
When patients spend any amount of time in a hospital, they come into contact with tables, chairs, beds, tools, and workers, all of which could be disease vectors. It is extraordinarily important, especially when patients are already weakened by injury or illness, that healthcare workers do everything in their power to keep areas clean, wear gloves, wash their hands, wear masks and other PPE, and act to prevent patients from getting infections. Often, failures in the following areas lead to hospital-acquired infections in Dallas hospitals.
Failing to provide a clean environment is often a cause of the spread of infections in hospitals. If cleaning staff and medical personnel do not properly wipe down tables and other surfaces and clean hospital rooms and operating rooms, patients could contract infections from the surfaces they come into contact with.
In rare cases, victims of hospital infections could contract an infection from unclean tools or instruments. Often, disposable tips, needles, and covers allow doctors and nurses to use tools multiple times without deep cleaning, but many instruments require sterilization or are wholly single use to prevent infection or germs from passing from one patient to the instrument to another patient. Mistakes and failures in handling biohazards can often lead to the spread of infection or illness. The most serious of these infections is often those infections involving catheters.
Lastly, the most common way that people often contract infections in hospitals is because they are already in a weakened state, have a compromised immune system that is already fighting infection, and then undergo surgery or treatment for a wound that later becomes infected. Infection of a wound or a surgical site is often prevented through prescription antibiotics, but it is possible that a patient might receive an infection anyway. In some cases, this is an expected complication, but in others, it should have been avoided.
Types of Hospital Infections and Complications Victims Can Sue for in Dallas
Depending on how the infection was contracted, you may be entitled to sue for the infection itself, the treatment for the infection, and any health complications that arose because of the infection. In most cases, the infection received is going to be one of a small group of infections, typically bacterial infections like staphylococcus infections (often called “staph” infections). Staph infections with Staphylococcus aureus that become resistant to antibiotics like methicillin are known as MRSA, a “super bug” infection that can cause prolonged health complications for many patients.
Sometimes infections are expected, and antibiotics might be administered to prevent infection. Sometimes, these hospital-acquired infections are not preventable and cannot lead to lawsuits, but other times, acquiring an infection in a hospital is the result of medical malpractice.
After a patient already has an infection, preventing it from growing and getting worse should be one of the biggest priorities for the medical team. Potentially, intravenous antibiotics and aggressive work to clean wounds and change bandages should be used to root out infection. Failing to give the proper care in treating a hospital-acquired infection can lead to the infection getting worse or spreading throughout the patient’s system.
Once an infection reaches the bloodstream, the patient may become “septic,” which could lead to organ damage or potentially “septic shock.” This can lead to organ failure and even death in extreme cases.
It is vital that doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers properly monitor patients for infections and treat the infections as they arise to prevent death and serious injury. Failing to do so could constitute medical malpractice or hospital negligence.
Filing Lawsuits Against Doctors and Hospitals for Infections in Dallas
If you were infected by an HAI during your stay at a hospital, you could be entitled to sue the healthcare professionals who treated you. If the individual doctors, nurses, and other members of the medical team that treated you made the mistakes, you could be entitled to sue them directly for damages. If they work for the hospital as hospital employees, you can often sue the hospital as well. Other times, it is the hospital itself, through its cleaning staff or other employees outside the medical team, that caused the issues by failing to clean or failing to properly process and sterilize used instruments.
In any case, speak with one of our Dallas attorneys for injury from a hospital-acquired infection for help with your case.
Call Our Dallas Healthcare-Associated Infection Lawyers for a Free Legal Consultation
Our Dallas lawyers for injury from a hospital infection can help you determine what parties you may sue, help you get medical experts to support your court case, and fight to get you the compensation you deserve after an injury from a hospital-acquired infection. For a free legal consultation on your potential case, contact The Queenan Law Firm today at (817) 476-1797.