Infections Every Move Matters

Orlando Infection Lawyer

Got Infected During Your Hospital Stay in Orlando, FL?

When it comes to receiving medical care, we trust hospitals and healthcare professionals to provide a safe environment and quality treatment. However, there are instances where patients suffer from infections due to hospital negligence, leading to significant harm and complications. If you or a loved one has experienced such an ordeal in Orlando, Florida, the Law Offices of Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D. is here to help. As experienced infection lawyers, we are dedicated to fighting for justice and fair compensation for victims of hospital-acquired infections.

Contact the Law Offices of Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D. today at (407) 305-6088 to schedule your free consultation and take the first step towards seeking justice for your hospital negligence claim.

Understanding Hospital Negligence in Infections

Hospital-acquired infections, also known as nosocomial infections, occur when a patient develops an infection during their stay in a hospital or healthcare facility. While not all infections are the result of negligence, some can be traced back to preventable errors and substandard care.

Several common types of hospital-acquired infections include:

  • Surgical Site Infections (SSIs): SSIs occur at the site of a surgical incision or in the organs and tissues affected by surgery. These infections can be superficial, involving the skin and subcutaneous tissues, or deep, affecting the organs and deeper tissues. Factors that increase the risk of SSIs include improper sterilization techniques, contaminated surgical instruments, poor wound care, and the presence of other underlying infections.
  • Pneumonia: Hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) refers to pneumonia that develops after 48 hours of hospital admission. Patients on mechanical ventilation in the intensive care unit (ICU) are particularly susceptible to ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). The risk of pneumonia increases when patients have weakened immune systems, difficulty clearing respiratory secretions, or prolonged bed rest.
  • Bloodstream Infections: Also known as sepsis or bloodstream infections, these occur when bacteria or other pathogens enter the bloodstream. Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) are a specific type that develops due to the use of central venous catheters. These infections can be life-threatening and require immediate treatment with appropriate antibiotics.
  • Gastrointestinal Infections: Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a common gastrointestinal infection acquired in hospitals. It often occurs after antibiotic treatment disrupts the natural balance of bacteria in the gut, allowing the Clostridium difficile bacterium to multiply. CDI can cause severe diarrhea and may require isolation precautions to prevent its spread to other patients.
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Infections: MRSA is a strain of Staphylococcus aureus that has become resistant to many commonly used antibiotics. MRSA infections can occur in surgical wounds, urinary tract, bloodstream, or respiratory tract. These infections are difficult to treat and can lead to serious complications if not properly managed.
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): UTIs are among the most common types of HAIs. They usually result from the use of urinary catheters, which can introduce bacteria into the urinary system. Patients with catheters are at a higher risk of developing UTIs, and healthcare workers must follow proper catheter insertion and maintenance protocols to minimize this risk.

Common Causes of Hospital Infections

Hospital-acquired infections can occur due to various reasons, including medical malpractice. Here are some common causes of hospital infections involving such negligence:

  • Poor Hand Hygiene: Failure of healthcare workers to adhere to proper hand hygiene practices, such as washing hands between patient interactions or using hand sanitizer, can lead to the spread of infections.
  • Inadequate Sterilization and Disinfection: Improper sterilization or disinfection of medical equipment, surgical instruments, or patient care items can introduce pathogens into a patient's body, leading to infections.
  • Unsafe Injection Practices: Reusing needles or syringes, improper handling of injectable medications, or failure to follow sterile procedures during injections can result in the transmission of infectious agents from one patient to another.
  • Contaminated Surfaces and Environment: Failure to properly clean and disinfect surfaces, patient rooms, and medical equipment can contribute to the persistence and spread of infectious pathogens within healthcare facilities.
  • Inadequate Staffing and Training: Insufficient staffing levels or inadequate training of healthcare personnel can lead to lapses in infection control practices and increase the risk of HAIs.
  • Poorly Managed Catheters and IV Lines: Improper insertion, maintenance, or removal of catheters and intravenous (IV) lines can provide a pathway for bacteria to enter the body, leading to bloodstream infections and other complications.
  • Improper Wound Care: Failure to follow proper wound care protocols, such as inadequate cleaning or dressing of wounds, can increase the risk of surgical site infections and other complications.
  • Overuse or Improper Use of Antibiotics: Inappropriate use of antibiotics, such as prescribing them unnecessarily or using the wrong type or dosage, can contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant infections.
  • Lack of Surveillance and Reporting: Inadequate surveillance systems to monitor and track HAIs, as well as failure to promptly report and investigate suspected cases, can hinder efforts to prevent and control the spread of infections within healthcare facilities.
  • Deficiencies in Hospital Policies and Protocols: Lack of comprehensive infection control policies, protocols, and guidelines, as well as failure to regularly update and enforce them, can leave healthcare facilities vulnerable to HAIs.

Proving Hospital Negligence in an Infection Case

Hospitals can potentially be held liable for infections if it can be proven that the infection was a result of the hospital's negligence or failure to meet the standard of care expected in their duty to protect patient safety.

Here are some scenarios where a hospital might be held liable for an infection:

  • Failure to follow infection control protocols: If a hospital fails to implement and enforce proper infection control measures, such as inadequate hand hygiene practices, improper sterilization of equipment, or failure to isolate patients with contagious infections, and these failures result in a patient acquiring an infection, the hospital may be held liable.
  • Negligent hiring or training: Hospitals have a responsibility to hire and train competent staff, including healthcare professionals and support staff. If a hospital hires personnel without appropriate qualifications or fails to provide adequate training on infection control protocols, and this leads to an infection, the hospital may be held liable for negligence in its hiring or training practices.
  • Inadequate maintenance of facilities: Hospitals are responsible for maintaining a clean and safe environment for patients. If a hospital fails to properly clean and disinfect patient rooms, operating theaters, or other areas where infections can spread, and a patient acquires an infection as a result, the hospital may be held liable for its failure to maintain a safe environment.
  • Equipment failure or contamination: Hospitals must ensure that medical equipment and devices are properly maintained, cleaned, and sterilized. If a patient acquires an infection due to contaminated or improperly sterilized equipment, or if a malfunctioning device leads to an infection, the hospital may be held liable for equipment-related negligence.
  • Medication errors: Hospitals are responsible for the safe administration of medications. If a patient acquires an infection due to medication errors, such as the wrong dosage or improper administration of antibiotics, the hospital may be held liable for the resulting harm.
  • Failure to diagnose or treat infections: Hospitals have a duty to promptly diagnose and appropriately treat infections. If a healthcare provider fails to diagnose or properly treat an infection, leading to complications or the spread of the infection, the hospital may be held liable for medical malpractice.

It's important to note that establishing liability in infection cases can be complex and requires a thorough investigation to determine if the hospital's actions or omissions directly contributed to the infection. Legal claims involving hospital-acquired infections often require expert testimony and evidence to demonstrate a breach of the standard of care. If you suspect that you or a loved one has suffered from a hospital-acquired infection due to negligence, it's advisable to consult with a medical malpractice attorney to assess the specific circumstances and determine if you have a valid claim.

If you or a loved one has suffered from a hospital-acquired infection in Orlando, Florida, don't hesitate to seek legal assistance. The Law Offices of Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D. is ready to stand by your side, fighting for the justice and compensation you deserve.

Call (407) 305-6088 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation with our experienced Orlando infection lawyers.

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