Hospital-Acquired Infections Claim Thousands of Lives Each Year

Hospital-Acquired Infections Claim Thousands of Lives Each Year

A recent study performed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) revealed that over 100,000 patients contracted infections in the United States after visiting hospitals, and roughly 20,000 of those died. While some progress has been made in stopping the spread of the most dangerous anti-biotic resistant types of infections, that progress has slowed in recent years.

These infections include staph infections, which are caused by a common bacteria found in nearly a quarter of the population. The bacteria becomes dangerous if it comes into contact with exposed skin. While some staph infections can easily be treated with antibiotics, others are resistant to these measures and can spread, causing swelling, pain, ulcers and fever.

Further, MRSA, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureas (MRSA) is a type of bacteria that is difficult to treat with antibiotics. There is a great risk of MRSA for patients in hospitals, because many of them have weak immune systems and open wounds/IVs. MRSA is one of the more dangerous types of infections can be easily spread throughout the hospital setting – via poor hand washing, insufficiently sanitized bed linens, and improperly sterilized medical equipment. MRSA is one of the most dangerous hospital acquired infections. It can be difficult to treat, and may lead to serious complications including sepsis and death.

One of the startling statistics revealed in the recent study is that while hospitals have means to control the acquisition and spread of infection, many don’t. For example, the CDC has set forth various safety measures and precautions to slow the spread of MRSA, but few hospitals follow these guidelines. Some speculate that other issues take prevalence – such as patient care – and sanitary precautions may not always be at the forefront. However, following a simple checklist including items such as handwashing and sanitation efforts could go a long way in reducing infection levels.

For more information or if you or a loved one has suffered harm from a hospital acquired infection, please contact the dedicated San Diego medical malpractice lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.


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