Few things can derail your weekend plans faster than a hospital stay. If you have to spend the night in a hospital, though, you expect doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers to offer you an appropriate level of care. If you develop an infection during your hospital visit, on the other hand, you may have evidence of medical malpractice.
Hospital stays are not exactly rare in the United States. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 7% of the population spent at least one night in the hospital in 2017. As you may know, hospitals can be germy places. Here are three types of hospital infections that may indicate you did not receive adequate care:
1. Respiratory infections
Sick people tend to go to the hospital. As such, hospitals often have a large number of viruses, bacteria and other germs lurking virtually everywhere. Still, facilities often have ways to protect susceptible patients from developing respiratory infections. If a healthcare provider fails to take steps to keep you safe, despite knowing about your medical history or vulnerabilities, you may have a medical malpractice claim.
2. Surgical site infections
Modern medicine provides doctors with a variety of means to treat patients. If you need surgery, your surgeon should always work in a sterile environment with clean equipment. During the recovery process, healthcare professionals should also keep the wound clean and appropriately dressed. If you develop an infection at the surgical site, though, someone may have made a serious mistake in treating you.
3. Medical device infections
Doctors, nurses and others often use medical devices to care for patients. For example, you may need a catheter, breathing apparatus or wheelchair. If medical professionals do not clean medical devices properly, you may develop an infection. Further, if they reuse equipment that they should discard and replace, you may become ill.
Even though hospitals are full of germs, you should not have to worry about acquiring an infection due to a medical professional’s negligence. If you develop one, you may need to act quickly both to recover completely and to assert your legal rights.