When you go to the hospital, you expect to get better, not worse. But infections related to hospital care are rising. Very often these infections are avoidable.
There are four main types of hospital-related infections:
- Postoperative staph infections
- Postoperative catheter-associated urinary tract infections
- Bloodstream infections associated with central venous catheter placements
- Postoperative pneumonia
Many of these infections have become resistant to antibiotics. A New York medical malpractice lawyer can help you determine whether an infection you suffered was caused by hospital negligence.
The best protection from these infections is the simple. Everyone near the patient must wash their hands. This includes doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, family members, volunteers, and friends. Nobody should touch the patient until they have washed their hands for at least 20 seconds.
Greater compliance with hand hygiene, such as hand washing or the use of hand sanitizers, has been shown to significantly reduce infection outbreaks in hospitals and reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistant organisms, such as MRSA and other staph infections.
Using gloves does not do away with the need for hand washing. Similarly, washing hands does not eliminate the need for gloves. Gloves reduce hand contamination by 70 to 80 percent, counteract cross-contamination, and protect patients and hospital employees from infection.
Liability of Hospitals
If you acquire an infection in a hospital, you may be able to bring a claim against the hospital. However, physicians who provide medical care to patients in emergency rooms are often not employees of the hospital. It is common for hospitals to hire doctors as independent contractors to provide emergency services. Until 1976, hospitals could avoid malpractice liability by arguing that the negligent doctors were not hospital employees. In 1976, the case of Mduba v. Benedictine Hospital held that hospitals, holding themselves out as institutions providing doctors, nurses, and amenities for emergency treatment are liable when those services are performed negligently and the hospital assigned the physician to oversee your care.
A New York medical malpractice lawyer can help you determine the proper parties to sue in your particular case.
If you have been injured by medical malpractice, call Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. at (212) 385-4410 to schedule a free consultation with a New York medical malpractice attorney.