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    December 30, 2015

    The Dangers of Healthcare Associated Infections

    upstate sc personal injury lawyer

    There are a number of places today where people can seek and receive a variety of medical treatments. From free standing clinics and surgical care centers to special units connected to and with our local hospital, these places offer help and support when we suffer from any number of health conditions. At any time of the day or night, we can seek care for our injuries, illnesses and their symptoms. While most of us have great confidence in our medical provider to diagnose and treat what ails us, many are also unaware of a rising problem associated with receiving this care. Injuries and illnesses resulting from Healthcare Associated Infections have become increasingly common, and can have serious and potentially fatal consequences. Raising awareness of the types of infections that take place in medical settings as well as the causes of these infections may reduce the risk, and can ensure medical providers and their staff are held accountable for the damages caused.    

    Types of Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI)

    Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI) are infections patients are at risk for when receiving medical care and treatment. These types of infections can occur in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, surgical centers, and nursing homes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) healthcare associated infection affect one in five patients on any given day, and for roughly ten percent of patients, these infections are fatal. There are a number of different types of healthcare associated infections, including:

    • Surgical site infections;
    • Catheter associated urinary tract infections;
    • Central line associated bloodstream infections;
    • Gastrointestinal illnesses;
    • Ventilator related pneumonia.

    According to the CDC, other diseases that may result from healthcare associated infections include staph infections, hepatitis, the Norovirus, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

    Common Causes of Healthcare Associated Infections

    In light of the prevalence and serious ramifications to patients as the result of healthcare associated infections, the United States Department of Health and Human Services has developed a national action plan to raise awareness of HAIs and to address and help prevent the risk factors present in healthcare settings that lead to these types of infections. According to the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, common causes of healthcare associated infections include:

    • Improper cleaning and maintenance of medical devices such as catheters and ventilators;
    • Complications related to surgical procedures;
    • Transmission of bacteria between hospital workers and patients;
    • Improper nurse to patient ratios;
    • Contaminated air conditioning systems;
    • Improper layout of hospital settings, such as having beds too close together.

    In addition to the above, the overuse of antibiotics in healthcare settings has been linked to the development of ‘superbugs’ causing widespread bacterial and viral infections among patients that are often resistant to treatment. The Department of Health recommends restricting the use of antibiotics to only those patients for whom it is medically necessary, rather than administering them to all patients regardless of whether they actually need it.

    Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today

    If you or a loved one has suffered a healthcare associated infection or illness while in the hospital or under treatment by a medical provider, contact an experienced South Carolina personal injury attorney right away. At Lauren Taylor Law, we know the devastating long term impacts these types of infections can have on your health and well-being. We will fight to hold responsible parties accountable, and help you get the compensation you need to recover. Do not delay. Serving all of upstate South Carolina, call us now at (864) 326-2888.