The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 1 in 20 hospitalized patients will develop an infection. The most common types of infections are staph infections, surgical site infections, urinary tract infections, and pneumonia.
Need a Texas Hospital Infection Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was injured by a hospital infection, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Texas.
$9.5 Million in Hospital Infection Lawsuit for Flesh-Eating Bacteria
In September 2013, a hospital infection lawsuit was settled for $9.5 million in favor of Monica Sprague Jorge, a woman who was infected with flesh-eating bacteria (necrotizing fasciitis) while giving birth via C-section at Emerson Hospital in Concord, Massachusetts. She alleges that the hospital failed to recognize symptoms of the infection or provide adequate treatment. She required over 40 surgeries to remove her arms, legs, uterus, ovaries, gallbladder, and part of her colon.
Hospital Infection Information
Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are infections that patients receive while undergoing medical care (surgery, catheter, ventilator, etc.). They can be devastating physically and financially, adding tens of thousands of dollars to cost of treatment, and weeks or months of recovery time. Serious infections (especially antibiotic-resistant infections) can cause permanent disability and death.
Types of Healthcare-Associated Infections
- Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE): Every year, about 9,000 people develop antibiotic-resistant CRE infections, resulting in 600 deaths. Because the bacteria is antibiotic-resistant, up to half of infections are fatal.
- Central line bloodstream infections: This is an infection of the “central line,” which is a catheter tube that is placed into a patient’s large vein (usually in the neck, chest, arm, or groin) to draw blood or give fluids and medications. Infection occurs when bacteria travels down the line and into a patient’s body.
- Catheter-assisted urinary tract infections: This infection can occur in the urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys. Approximately 75% of hospital-acquired UTIs are caused by a urinary catheter, which is a tube inserted into the bladder to drain urine. This is the most preventable hospital infection — the most important risk-factor is leaving the catheter in a patient’s body for too long.
- Ventilator-assisted Pneumonia: This is a lung infection that occurs in patients on mechanical ventilation.
- Clostridium difficile: This is an antibiotic-resistant bacteria that causes life-threatening diarrhea and gastrointestinal infection. C. difficile causes diarrhea linked to 14,000 American deaths every year, usually in older adults who are receiving antibiotic therapy.
- Surgical Site Infections (SSIs): These infections can be very serious, involving tissues under the skin and organs. One of the most serious SSIs is necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating bacteria), which has a 30-40% mortality rate.
- Meningitis: This infection causes a life-threatening inflammation of the meninges, which is the lining around the brain and spinal cord. In 2012, an outbreak of fungal meningitis sickened at least 750 people and led to 63 deaths. The outbreak was linked to injections of methylprednisolone acetate, which is an epidural steroid commonly used to treat back pain in outpatient clinics.
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA): This is a staph infection caused by bacteria that are resistant to most antibiotics (penicillin, amoxicillin, oxacillin). The most severe, life-threatening MRSA infections occur in healthcare settings.
- Sepsis: Delayed diagnosis and treatment of a hospital infection can lead to a condition called sepsis, which is a life-threatening whole-body inflammatory reaction to an infection. It can rapidly lead to septic shock, loss of blood-pressure, organ failure, and death.
- And more
Symptoms of a Surgical Site Infection
- Infected area is red, swollen, hot to touch, painful or tender
- Body temperature is high (fever) or low (body chills)
- Wound discharge (pus)
- Foul-smelling wound
- Swelling that goes beyond the wounded area
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Confusion, disorientation
- Wound that does not heal
Hospital-Acquired Infections Cost $10 Billion per Year
The five most common hospital-acquired infections cost the U.S. healthcare system almost $10 billion per year, according to a study published in September 2013 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
The researchers found that bloodstream infections were the costliest, at over $45,000 per patient, followed by ventilator-assisted pneumonia at $40,000 per patient, surgical site infections at $21,000 per patient, Clostridium difficile infection at $11,000 per patient, and catheter-associated urinary tract infections at $900.
How Can a Lawyer Help?
If you are diagnosed with a serious infection within weeks after leaving a hospital, you should contact our lawyers. Our lawyers can review your medical records and determine if proper standards were followed in your treatment. If your infection may have been caused by delayed diagnosis or medical negligence, we can help you seek compensation for medical expenses incurred as a result of a hospital-acquired infection.
Additional Resources & Information
- Healthcare-associated infections — Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Need a Hospital Infection Lawyer in Texas?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $60 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact our Texas medical malpractice lawyers for a free lawsuit review.