Infection, according to the The Center for Disease Control, is the cause of upwards of 100,000 deaths per year in hospitals. In looking at an infection case from a medical malpractice point of view it is necessary to identify the type and origin of the pathogen, identify the mode by which that pathogen is typically transmitted, determine whether the providers took adequate precautions to prevent the presence and transmission of the pathogen and then finally determine whether the provider recognized the infection and treated it properly.
Infection Prevention Procedures
A study based in Michigan involving 108 different intensive care units determined that the occurence of catheter-related blood stream infections was reduced to zero as a result of five procedures being implemented. Those procedures were hand washing, using full-barrier precautions during insertion of central nervous catheters, cleaning skin with chlorhexidine, avoiding femur site if possible and removing unnecessary catheters. What this study exemplifies is that where proper procedures are implemented infection can be controlled.
Many physicians take a somewhat lackadaisical approach to the risk of post surgical infection.This can be seen in the failure to administer preoperative antibiotics, failure to administer proper postoperative antibiotics and improper discharge of a patient with a draining wound.
Where an infection has been identified questions frequently arise as to whether the providers reacted to it properly by having laboratory cultures obtained and reported and securing prompt involvement of infectious disease experts.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you think you have been injured by the negligence of a health care provider in regards to an infection issue, contact us.
For more information about infectious diseases see the site maintained by the Center for Disease Control