Could you be at risk for getting an infection in the hospital?

It goes without saying that when New York residents have to go into the hospital, they don’t expect their health problems to worsen as a result of their care. However, many people end up with an infection acquired during the course of their care — as many as one in 25 patients across the country, in fact.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 75,000 patients who suffered from hospital-acquired infections died in 2011, although it isn’t certain how many of those deaths were due directly to the infections. In any case, it’s a staggering number: more than 200 per day, every day, across the country.

The three most commonly found infections in a survey conducted by the CDC were pneumonia, surgical site infections, and gastrointestinal infections. These three types of infections made up nearly two-thirds of all cases.

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Identifying hospital-acquired infections is especially important because of the preponderance of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. So far, these bacteria have been a puzzle that healthcare officials have been unable to solve. More information about how infections are transmitted could be a key to figuring out how to combat this issue — and thus save the lives of people who might otherwise succumb to these infections.

The causes of these infections are many and varied. However, it is certainly possible that many of them are due to such causes as surgical errors or other kinds of medical malpractice. When this is the case, having an experienced medical malpractice attorney on your side can help to work toward getting compensated for these harmful mistakes.

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Source: The Washington Post, “One in 25 patients has an infection acquired during hospital stay, CDC says,” Lenny Bernstein, March 26, 2014

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