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Research Shows Hospital-Acquired Illnesses Afflict 1 in 25 Patients

Nosocomial infections, informally called hospital-acquired illnesses, are very common in U.S. hospitals and healthcare facilities. To qualify as this type of infection, the patient must have been admitted to the hospital or facility for reasons other than the infection and must have shown no signs of the infection upon arrival. These infections occur:

  • Up to 48 hours after hospital admission
  • Up to 3 days after discharge
  • Up to 30 days after an operation

Hospital-acquired infections come in many forms and varieties. Hospitals are home to many diseases, and therefore nosocomial infections can arise from many types of viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. The most common types of infections are the following:

  • Pneumonia: a severe lung disease characterized by coughing, fever, nausea, sharp chest pain, and shortness of breath
  • Gastrointestinal Illnesses: diseases involving the gastrointestinal system-the stomach and intestines-with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Bloodstream Infections: an infection in one’s blood that is met with an extreme response by the body’s immune system, often with severe inflammation
  • Surgical Site Infections: an infection that occurs after surgery in the part of the body where the surgery took place

It can be challenging to pinpoint the cause of one’s nosocomial infection for several reasons. These types of infections occur because of weakened immune systems of patients, patient-to-patient interaction and medical provider-to-patient interaction. Many times it can be difficult to identify the exact cause of a hospital-acquired infection, and it is common for the disease to be attributed to more than one cause.

Although it can be difficult to identify the exact cause of a nosocomial disease, sometimes there is clear enough evidence to prove that the illness was caused by a doctor or other medical provider’s negligence or carelessness and as a result the patient suffered injury. These types of cases fall under the medical malpractice area of the law.

An estimated 40 percent of nosocomial infections are caused by poor hand hygiene, which is easily prevented by doctors, nurses, and other medical staff. This type of hospital error may lead to a medical malpractice case if the disease is found to be caused by the medical providers. The consequences of a hospital error can range from a minor illness, such as a small infection, to an aggressive disease, such as pneumonia, to even death.

During a hospital visit, it is important to have your health condition and medical procedures documented. If you fall victim to a nosocomial disease and believe it was caused by improper or inadequate hospital care practices, it is important to speak to an attorney. These types of cases can be very complicated and require exceptional legal expertise.

Our Detroit medical malpractice lawyers have experience dealing with hospitals and medical providers, such as nurses and doctors, that have caused injury to a patient due to an error made on their behalf. Call today at (248) 793-2010 to get your questions answered regarding hospital negligence and medical malpractice.

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