Maryland Hospital Malpractice Lawyers | Hospital-Acquired Infections DecreaseDecember 4, 2013
People often go to a hospital with legitimate fears. They worry about the success of an operation, how long recovery might take or when they can be well enough to get back to work. It can be devastating when an unanticipated outcome, such as a hospital-acquired infection (HAI), ends up causing additional serious injury. The good news is that the rate of HAIs has finally gone down — but the number of people who become seriously ill or die because hospital staff neglected to take simple measures to protect against the spread of dangerous germs is still much too high.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that there was a 50 percent decrease in HAIs in the five years between 2005 and 2011. The most common HAIs include:
- Staphylococcus aureus, or staph
- Methicillin-resistant staph (MRSA)
- Urinary tract infections
The CDC was most concerned about the rates of antibiotic-resistant staph infection. MRSA can cause skin infections or can affect major organs, joints and bones if it enters the bloodstream, and can be a serious problem for patients who have weak immune systems. The number of reported HAI MRSA cases fell from 111,300 in 2005 to 80,500 in 2011, probably due to changes in hospital policies and procedures — including making it mandatory for all staff to wash their hands frequently. It is also possible that staph germs have become less invasive.
The tragic fact about HAIs is that most are preventable. If you have been seriously harmed by an infection acquired during a hospital stay, you may be able to sue for medical malpractice damages. Call the skilled Maryland hospital malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. to discuss your legal options.