Hospital-Acquired Infections Lawyer

hospital infection medical malpractice

Every day, about 1 in 31 hospital patients suffers from at least one healthcare-related infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg, & Jeck, P.C., we stand up for those harmed by such hospital infections. Our experienced medical malpractice lawyers have handled many complex medical malpractice cases. We secured $15 million for a child who suffered kidney damage after his antibiotic therapy was wrongly halted. In another case, we secure $14 million against a hospital and doctors for delay in performing a MRI. .

If you experience a hospital-acquired infection, contact us for a free consultation, and let us fight for the compensation you deserve.

What Is a Hospital-Acquired Infection?

A hospital-acquired infection is an infection that patients get while receiving treatment for another condition in a hospital. These infections can occur in any part of the body and result from bacteria, viruses, or fungi entering the body during medical care. Common types include infections from surgeries, poorly sterilized equipment, and exposure to communicable diseases from other patients. Hospital-acquired infections are serious because they can delay recovery, increase the length of hospital stays, and sometimes lead to severe health problems or even death.

Common Hospital-Acquired Infections

Hospitals should be places of healing. When malpractice occurs, they can also be breeding grounds for new infections, such as:

  • Staph Infections – Staph infections, including those from methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), are unfortunately common complications in hospitals. Patients can contract MRSA through exposed surgical sites or contact with healthcare workers. Symptoms often include red, swollen, and painful skin areas, fever, and pus or drainage from infection sites.
  • Nosocomial Infections—A nosocomial infection is any infection acquired within a healthcare environment. These infections can spread through contaminated equipment or air in hospitals. Depending on the infection’s nature and location, symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, or localized redness and swelling.
  • Bloodstream Infections—A bloodstream infection occurs when harmful bacteria or fungi enter the bloodstream, potentially leading to serious health complications such as septic shock. For instance, a central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) happens when bacteria enter the bloodstream via a central line, which is a type of catheter. Common signs of bloodstream infections include high fever, chills, a fast heart rate, and low blood pressure.
  • Urinary Tract Infections—Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are especially common in patients with long-term catheter use. Symptoms include a strong, persistent urge to urinate, a burning sensation when urinating, cloudy urine, and pelvic pain in women. Unfortunately, catheter-associated urinary tract infections are common in hospital settings. According to the CDC, approximately 75% of UTIs acquired in the hospital are associated with a urinary catheter.
  • Infections from Invasive Medical Devices – Infections from invasive medical devices, like ventilators, catheters, or joint replacements occur when these devices become contaminated. Symptoms depend on the infection site but can include fever, discharge, and pain or tenderness around the device.
  • Infections from Overuse of Antibiotics – Infections from overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria that are extremely difficult to treat. Symptoms of these infections vary depending on the affected area but include recurrent infections, fever, and little to no response to standard antibiotics.

An experienced medical malpractice attorney can review your medical records to determine the type of infection you suffered and how it occurred.

How Do Hospital Acquired Infections Occur?

Hospital-acquired infections pose significant risks to patients in healthcare facilities. These infections can occur through various means, such as:

  • Surgical Malpractice – Surgical site infections happen when bacteria enter the body through incision points made during surgery. After a surgical procedure, the wound site can become a hotspot for germs if hospital staff do not clean or care for it properly.
  • Improper Sterilization – Tools like scalpels, forceps, and endoscopes need thorough cleaning to remove all traces of bacteria before they are used on a new patient. If a healthcare professional uses instruments contaminated with germs on a patient, those germs can enter the body and cause infections.
Overuse of Antibiotics - Hospital Infection Causes
  • Overuse of Antibiotics—When doctors prescribe antibiotics too often, bacteria can adapt and become resistant, making a patient’s infection harder to treat. This can turn a minor infection into a potentially life-threatening infection, underscoring the need for careful antibiotic use and monitoring.
  • Improper Use of Invasive Devices – Invasive devices like catheters,ventilators and joint replacements can provide a direct pathway for bacteria to enter the body. Proper handling, timely removal, and strict guidelines on their use are essential to minimize the risk of infection associated with these devices.
  • Patient Cross-Contamination – Cross-contamination between patients is also a significant concern in hospital settings. If healthcare workers or the hospital environment, such as bed linens, medical equipment, or even door handles, are contaminated with bacteria, these germs can easily transfer from one patient to another.

If you suspect you suffered an infection in the hospital, ensure you are immediately treated. Then, contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to learn about your legal rights and options for recovering compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain, and suffering.

When Hospital Infections Indicate Medical Malpractice

When patients enter a hospital, they trust that the care they receive will help them recover, not make them sicker. However, sometimes, hospital infections can occur, leading to more severe health issues or even worsening conditions. If these result from medical negligence or substandard care, it could indicate medical malpractice from hospital infections.

A medical malpractice case can arise when healthcare professionals fail to follow established standards of care, leading to medical malpractice related infections. For instance, if a doctor doesn’t properly sterilize equipment or wash their hands, and a patient develops an infection as a result, it could be grounds for a medical malpractice claim. The key is proving that the healthcare provider’s actions directly led to the infection and that the infection caused harm to the patient.

If a patient dies due to a preventable hospital-acquired infection, their family would have grounds to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. This type of lawsuit aims to hold the hospital or medical staff accountable for the loss of life that could have been avoided with proper care. To succeed in such a case, the family through their lawyer must demonstrate that the medical professional failed to uphold their duty of care and that this failure directly resulted in the patient’s death.

Contact a Knowledgeable Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Free Consultation

Have you been affected by a hospital-acquired infection? Contact Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg, & Jeck, P.C. for a free case review. Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys will listen to your story, explain your options, and work hard to demand the justice and compensation you deserve.

Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg, & Jeck, P.C.
1634 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA, 19103
Phone: (215) 585-2814