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Hospital negligence can lead to infections for patients

If you have been admitted to a hospital lately and avoided an infection during your time there, you are lucky. A recent study by the New England Journal of Medicine shows that in 2011, one in 25 patients acquired some type of infection while hospitalized. Although the study did not focus its attention to the root cause of these statistics, such alarming rates could be the result of medical malpractice or hospital negligence.

The numbers reveal that 721,800 infections were reported in 2011. About 22 percent of the infections reported were from pneumonia and surgical sites. The next highest numbers come from gastrointestinal infections, followed by urinary tract infections and bloodstream infections.

Even though the numbers are alarming, the study shows improvement over the last decade. In 2002, 1.7 million patients are believed to have contracted an infection while hospitalized. While much needs to be done to improve the numbers further, officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control are optimistic. While the efforts are not perfect, professionals say that using a best practices checklist may contribute to reducing the number of infections. It is possible that this could also cut down on patient injuries caused by hospital negligence.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has a hospital comparison on its website. Infections in the ICU are one of the best barometers of how prevalent infections are in the rest of the hospital, so focusing on those statistics may be a helpful indicator.

Even though infections are common, it is still the responsibility of the hospital to provide sterile conditions that do not promote the possibility of infections in its patients. Anyone who has contracted an infection during a hospital stay in New Hampshire might wish to consult an attorney who is knowledgeable in the area of medical malpractice and hospital negligence.

Source: CNN.com, “1 in 25 patients gets infection in in hospital,” William Hudson, March 26, 2014

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