Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice Newsletter

  • Proving Medical Malpractice in Podiatry Cases
    Generally, a podiatrist is a limited-license practitioner who, depending on the scope of practice recognized by the podiatrist’s home state, can treat medical problems associated with the foot, ankle and/or leg. Depending on their... Read more.
  • Medical Liens and Filing Proper Notice
    A person injured in an accident caused by the negligence or fault of another may eventually be able to recover damages from the person at fault. However, accident injuries usually require immediate treatment. If the injured party lacks... Read more.
  • Medical Malpractice Claims and Cardiology
    Cardiological specialists are required to adhere to a strict standard of care in diagnosis and treatment. If a specialist deviates from the standard of care and, as a result, a cardiac patient suffers an injury, then the specialist must... Read more.
  • Cashing Out a Structured Settlement
    Many people enter into a “structured settlement” as a result of recovery on a legal claim, such as personal injury, medical malpractice, or workers’ compensation. A “structured settlement” takes a lump-sum... Read more.
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Successful Surgery But Deadly Hospital-Acquired Infection

A nosocomial infection, or hospital-acquired infection, is an infection that was contracted in a hospital. Such infections can be the result of many different factors including poorly sterilized equipment, defective equipment design (not allowing for proper cleaning) or hospital staff negligence. As with any medical malpractice claim, several aspects must be scrutinized to determine liability.

Hospital-Acquired Infections – More Common Than Car Accident Fatalities

Recent reports indicate that hospital-acquired infection fatalities are more common than car accident and fire and drowning fatalities combined. In fact, hospital-acquired infections are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, after heart disease, cancer, stroke and respiratory ailments.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that one out of every twenty people admitted to a hospital will get a nosocomial infection. This statistic indicates that each year two million infections will occur, leading to approximately 90,000 deaths. Over 2,500 babies each year contract fatal hospital acquired infections. As such, infection control is a major issue amongst medical practitioners.

Often times nosocomial infections can easily be prevented. Measures such as washing hands between patients or implementing careful systematic equipment cleaning procedures can prevent an unnecessary infection. Understaffed hospitals are also a major concern for effective infection control.

Analyzing a Hospital-Acquired Infection Claim

If a hospital or surgical team is found liable for an infection acquired by a patient due to negligence, the legal ramifications can be severe. Consequently, thorough analysis of nosocomial infection claims is imperative. Rules and procedures for the analysis of such a claim will differ from state to state, but will generally adhere to the following format:

  • A hospital or surgical team committed an error in the plan to reduce infection exposure
  • A reasonable hospital or surgical team would not have committed such an error
  • The error was the cause of the resulting infection

Additional factors will also be examined, including the reason for the original hospital visit, the risk of the type of infection contracted by the patient, the risk of contraction of each individual patient and steps taken to reduce exposure to infection.

THE PARSONS LAW FIRM
1406 Colburn St. Honolulu, HI 96817
Phone: 808-845-2211 Fax: 808-843-0100