West Palm Beach Hospital Infection Lawyer

Hospital Infections Attorneys: Responding to a Growing Problem

“Within 24 hours, my little girl went from happy and healthy to being intubated and hooked to a breathing machine.” Her small body was riddled with tubes and wires. She had surgery to remove the abscess from her hip. She was not getting better. Eventually her lungs began to fail entirely.” Addie’s doctors realized her lungs were not getting better– she would need a lung transplant to survive. However, they were unsure they could perform a transplant, because there were so much bacteria running amok in her body. She had developed infections caused by several drug-resistant bacteria including extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing E. coli, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, and a resistant form of pneumonia caused by Enterobacter aerogenes.

This is the story of an eleven-year-old girl named Addie, and she’s not alone in her debilitating condition. In cases like these, an attorney trained in hospital-associated infections is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that malpractice is not occurring. According to the 2011 Health Grades Hospital Quality in America Study, the incidence of medical harm leading to hospital-associated infections (HAI) occurring in the United States is estimated to be over 40,000 harmful and/or lethal errors each and every day. Hospitals have become particularly notorious for spreading lethal infections. According to the most recent report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hospital-acquired infections now affect one in 25 patients.

HAI Growth and Spread

HAIs are infections caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses that occur in patients who receive medical care. In 2011, an estimated 722,000 patients contracted an infection during a stay in an acute care hospital in the US, and about 75,000 of them died as a result. That amounts to just over 205 deaths from HAI for every day of the year. More than half of all HAI were contracted outside of the intensive care unit. More attorneys are looking into hospital-associated infections as the statistics increase. The most common forms of HAI include:

  • Central line-associated bloodstream infections
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infections
  • Surgical site infections after surgery
  • Clostridium difficile infections

Other infectious diseases can also easily spread in medical settings where those who are actively ill mingle with others who have comprised immune systems. In 2013, Monica Sprage Jorge agreed to a $9.5 million settlement in an HAI lawsuit filed against Emerson Hospital in Concord, Massachusetts. Six years ago, Jorge was infected with flesh-eating bacteria after undergoing a C-section to give birth to her daughter. She alleged that her caregivers failed to diagnose and treat her infection properly.

She has required more than 40 surgeries following her diagnosis, each one resulting in more tissue having to be removed. Because she contacted an attorney skilled in hospital-associated infection lawsuits, she was able to receive compensation in order to cover the cost of her bills and to assist with her living needs.

Hospital Infections Attorneys and Lawsuits

In addition to physical pain and suffering, hospital infections can be financially devastating, adding tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of treatment. In recent years, there has been an alarming rise in antibiotic-resistant infections that can cause severe injury and death. Since many cases are related to improper hospital protocol, lawsuits may be leveled against health care institutions if there is evidence of malpractice. You may qualify to file a lawsuit if evidence suggests your injury was caused by delayed diagnosis or negligence. You could receive compensation for:

  • Pain and Suffering
  • Medical expenses and rehabilitation
  • Permanent injuries or disability
  • Lost wages or income
  • Wrongful death of a loved one

You should contact a hospital infections attorney who is experienced in these types of cases if you develop an infection within two weeks after leaving a hospital. If you decide to pursue a claim, a medical malpractice lawyer can review your medical records to see if your injury was caused by an inadequate standard of care.