When we go to the doctor, we expect our injury or illness to get better. The last thing we expect is to catch a dangerous infection and become even sicker. Unfortunately, preventable medical errors and acts of medical negligence expose patients to dangerous bacteria, leading to an infection. If you catch an infection due to a healthcare provider’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Common Types of Hospital-Acquired Infections
Infections are caused by viruses, bacteria, and other organisms that enter your body and begin to multiply. As the organisms spread, you will begin to experience symptoms like fever, chills, shortness of breath, and sore throat. Without prompt medical attention, infections can be fatal.
Hospitals have strict protocol for preventing infections. To avoid spreading bacteria, medical facilities usually disinfect surfaces regularly, sterilize devices and tools, and use personal protective equipment like gloves and face masks. Unfortunately, medical professionals can fail to uphold these protocols, leading to the spread of infection.
Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus
Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a type of a staphylococcus infection. Staphylococci are bacteria that live on surfaces like linens and can be transmitted from person-to-person. MRSA has become resistant to antibiotics used to treat other types of staph infections and can lead to unpleasant side effects. You may experience swollen, painful, and tender bumps that are sometimes accompanied by a fever and pus.
MRSA usually effects the skin, but it can spread to the urinary tract, lungs, bloodstream, and other parts of the body. Without prompt medical treatment, a MRSA infection can be fatal.
Catheter-Associated Bloodstream Infection
Catheter-associated bloodstream infections are very common in hospital settings. During your stay, medical providers may insert catheter tubes into your body to draw blood, collect urine, or deliver fluids and medication. If the tubes are not sterile or medical staff fail to follow sanitization protocol, bacteria can enter your body through the insertion point or the tube itself. The infection can enter your bloodstream, leading to potentially life-threatening complications.
Vancomycin-resistant enterococci are bacteria that are also resistant to antibiotics in hospitals. This infection is often transmitted during surgical procedures or treatment involving catheters, usually due to improper cleaning procedures like infrequent hand washing. Symptoms of vancomycin-resistant enterococci include red and tender skin, fever, chills, swelling, and a fast heart rate.
Your Legal Options After a Hospital-Acquired Infection
Hospitals, clinics, and their employees have a duty to follow proper cleaning procedures to keep patients safe. If you acquire an infection due to a medical error, you may be eligible for financial compensation. You could file a lawsuit against the at-fault healthcare provider and, in many cases, the medical facility.
If the provider responsible for the infection is an employee of the hospital or clinic, you can name the facility in your lawsuit. If the at-fault provider is not an employee but an independent contractor, the facility would not be liable unless one of the following circumstances apply.
- The at-fault provider appeared to be an employee of the hospital and the hospital did not inform the patient that the provider is a contractor.
- The hospital was aware that the at-fault provider was negligent or incompetent and kept him or her on its staff.
Navigating a medical malpractice claim can be a challenge. As soon as possible following your infection, contact a Missouri medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your legal options. Your attorney can help build your case and strategize your next steps.
Have You or a Loved One Been Injured Due to Medical Malpractice in Kansas City, Missouri?
If you believe you or a loved one has been harmed due to medical practice you should speak with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 816.832.4688 to schedule your free consultation. We are proud to serve Kansas City, Missouri, and the surrounding area and look forward to speaking with you.