Hospital Acquired Infection Claim *
Hospital acquired infections claims * arise generally because of medical negligence *. Most people are admitted to hospital in order to recover from an illness or to receive some form of treatment or procedure and a hospital acquired infection can worsen their condition and make their time in hospital longer than it should have been. In most cases these infections develop as a result of negligence on behalf of the hospital or the medical staff who are treating you. If you have developed a hospital acquired infection as a result of negligence and a breach in duty of care, you may be entitled to pursue legal action.
Hospitals have a responsibility for ensuring the health and safety of their patients at all times and should have very high standards of hygiene. In most cases, hospital acquired infections can be prevented through health and safety regulations. Failing to follow regulations could cause the infection to spread among both patients and staff. As most infections are spread through skin to skin contact, one of the most important health and safety measures is ensuring that both staff and patients was their hands. In addition to this, all hospital staff are required to report any form of negligence which they are made aware of as this can help to prevent infections and injuries.
As patients who are in hospital are already fighting off an illness they are more at risk of acquiring an infection. They will have a weaker immune system which allows bacteria to enter their system more easily. Also those who may have open wounds can also acquire infections. Due to the number of staff, patients and visitors to a hospital it can be difficult to completely prevent an infection from spreading. There should be regulations in place to reduce the number of bacteria that is spread throughout the hospital.
What is a hospital acquired infection?
This type of healthcare-associated infection is acquired after contact with health care services in a hospital. It is most common in hospitals but can also be acquired after treatment in outpatient clinics, nursing homes and other healthcare settings. The most common infections are, surgical site infections, Pneumonia, Urinary tract infection, bloodstream infection and Gastroenteritis.
Common Hospital Infections
According to the HSE while not all healthcare associated infections are preventable, it is estimated that between 30%-50% are avoidable. National standards are set in place to ensure that these are avoided. Some of the most common hospital acquired infections include:
Surgical Site Infection
During a surgery an incision is generally made, this incision or cut is known as the surgical site and it is made by the surgeon carrying out the surgery. Surgical site infection may occur where bacteria enter the cut after it is made by the surgeon.
Symptoms include redness, swelling and pain at the surgical site. Symptoms can either be superficial (effecting only the skin) or more severe (affecting the muscles or tissue underneath the skin). While this infection is not always preventable, poor hygiene or standard of care by the treating professionals may lead to infection.
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. Symptoms include, shortness of breath, coughing and fever. Most people acquire the infection outside the hospital, however, hospital-acquired pneumonia can occur in some patients, particularly those on intensive care or need assistance breathing.
Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) occur where germs enter the urethra and travel to the bladder. Symptoms include increased urination, pain passing urine and fever. Those in hospital who have a catheter inserted into their bladder are most at risk of acquiring this infection.
A bloodstream infection occurs when bacteria enters the bloodstream. Symptoms include fever, chills, nausea, vomiting and weakness. Patients most at risk of acquiring this infection are those with a drip placed into a vein.
Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the bowel and is caused by a bacterial infection. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea and cramps. This infection can be acquired outside the hospital by may also be acquired in a hospital due to dehydration.
MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)
In some cases, people can carry the virus and infection but may not show any signs of symptoms. When symptoms are shown they can vary depending on which part of the body is affected. MRSA symptoms can include;
- Painful spots on the skin
- Feeling of dizziness
- Pain and discomfort
- Swelling in the affected area of body
- Feeling of being unwell
If MRSA is not treated it can develop into more serious conditions, including;
This is a form of blood poisoning which arises when the body’s response to a certain infection causes injury to tissues and organs. Signs of sepsis can include increased breathing and heart rate, confusion and fever.
This is an infection of the deeper layers of the skin. When infected by this it can cause the skin to turn red and swell. It can also cause great pain and discomfort. It can also cause your body temperature to increase rapidly.
This is an infection of the joints which cause them to inflame. This can cause the skin to turn red and hot. Due to pain experienced as a result of this it can also lead to reduce mobility of the affected area.
This is an infection and inflammation of the bone marrow. The infection reaches the bone after travelling through the bloodstream. It can also spread from nearby tissue in the body. This infection can occur in both adults and children.
This infection is spread through eating undercooked food or unpasteurised milk or thorough skin to skin contact with an infected person. Common symptoms of E. coli include nausea and stomach and abdominal pain. If this infection is left untreated it can lead to Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome (HUS). This is a serious condition that can lead to kidney failure in some cases.
- difficile is a type of bacteria which can survive for a number of months. This infection is more commonly affects those with a weakened immune system and is a common hospital acquired infection. If left untreated, this can lead to colitis. Symptoms of this can include fever, dehydration, weight loss and loss of appetite.
What causes hospital acquired infections?
- Failing to follow health and safety regulations
- Negligence of hospital employees
- Failing to follow regulations in relation to preparing food
- Failing to sterilise and properly clean the hospital and equipment
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE
To talk in more detail about any aspect of this topic, you can contact our medical negligence solicitors * on 01 649 9900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us about your hospital acquired infection claim *.
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