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Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAIs) Affect One in 25 Patients

Published on July 8, 2015

Every year millions of people enter the hospital to seek help, but thousands end up getting a hospital-acquired infection, also known as healthcare-associated infection or HAI. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that an estimated 722,000 patients end up with a HAIs every year. Of those, about 75,000 hospital patients die during their hospitalization. That’s more than 205 deaths every day from HAIs. This is a widespread problem that hospitals everywhere should be working to avoid. But the reality is not all hospitals put the necessary time and resources toward infection prevention., a website that provides quality ratings on nearly 5,000 hospitals in the U.S., analyzed approximately 40 million Medicare patients’ records. In doing so, they found that nearly 165,000 in-hospital complications could have been avoided had the patient gone to a top rated hospital for their procedure(s).

According to the study, you have an average 54-percent lower risk of dying in a five-star rated hospital compared to the national average. This shows that it’s possible to prevent a majority of hospital-acquired infections. Sometimes it’s simple steps that could be taken to eliminate the likelihood of infection. For instance, doctors and nurses washing their hands thoroughly between each patient could help reduce infections by controlling the spread of potentially deadly infections.

The 5 most common infection sites for HAIs are as followed:
1.) Surgical Sites
2.) Lungs (Pneumonia)
3.) Gastrointestinal
4.) Urinary Tract
5.) Bloodstream

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) focuses on prevention and reduction of HAIs and created a HHS Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections. Although this action plan is a step in the right direction, continued efforts are needed to achieve a reduction in HAIs. In this YouTube video by the CDC, you’ll learn more about the efforts put forth to prevent and reduce HAIs.

Many Americans put their faith in the professionalism of hospitals, doctors, and staff, but that faith is not always deserved. Medical mistakes happen in U.S. hospitals every day, and people suffer and die as a result. If this has happened to you or someone you love, don’t chalk it up to fate. When a hospital-acquired infection is caused by a negligent act, you do have recourse. You can recover money in damages for your financial, emotional, and quality of life damages, and help reduce the shocking incidence of medical malpractice that occurs in American hospitals, by holding them accountable for their negligence.

To read about an update regarding a new device to reduce the risk of HAI’s, read our post New Device Hopes to Lessen HAIs

Contact a Phoenix hospital malpractice attorney at Knapp & Roberts for a free initial consultation to learn about your legal options. We assume all the risk, front all the expenses, and do all the work needed to build your case, and you pay us absolutely nothing until we obtain a settlement or verdict in your favor. Fill out the form below or give Knapp & Roberts a call at 480-991-7677.

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