An unexpected but increasingly common complication of a hospital stay is developing an infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) roughly 650,000 patients in the U.S. acquire infections during a hospital stay, leading to 75,000 deaths. This represents more than double the number of deaths that occur each year in car accidents. One of the more common types of infections is the bacteria MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus). Once a patient contracts this type of infection, it may be hard to get rid of, taking months of treatments, possibly leading to death. Complicating matters, sometimes, the antibiotics used to fight the infection leads to trouble. In some cases, the drugs will kill of healthy bacteria, allowing "bad" bacteria such as C. diff (clostridium difficile) to take over.
With so many sick patients in close proximity, proper sanitation is crucial. Further, the widespread use of antibiotics has led to the development of superbugs, which may be difficult to treat.
According to one observer, “We’ve reached the point where patients are dying of infections in hospitals that we have no antibiotics to treat.”
However, there are steps that hospitals can take to reduce the chances that you may get an infection. That includes proper sterilization, hand washing, and following strict protocols in anti-biotic use.
For more information, or if you have developed an infection as a result of a hospital stay, please contact the dedicated Los Angeles medical malpractice lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for a confidential consultation.