Are Hospitals Responsible for Infections Acquired During Treatment?
Centers of Disease Control (CDC) statistics show the high risks associated with seeking treatment in American hospitals. According to the CDC, one in 25 patients will get an infection while receiving treatment. Hospital-acquired infections have the potential to permanently injure or kill patients unlucky enough to catch them.
In 2004, a former Florida lieutenant governor underwent open-heart surgery in Tallahassee and almost lost his life to a hospital-acquired infection and had recently mentioned to the press that he had noticed buckets in the hallways catching water from a very leaky ceiling.
As it turned out, these unsanitary conditions might have been responsible for leaving the former lieutenant governor with mucormycosis, a fungal infection with an extremely low rate of survival. To save his life, doctors temporarily put him into a medically induced coma.
New CDC Requirements Will Hold Hospitals to a Higher Standard
Not everyone is so lucky, and the CDC requires hospitals to report potentially fatal infections. Under the new healthcare law, all hospitals must report infections and be held accountable for them.
Hospitals are now scored on their rate of infections, and if found to be below the accepted bar, they can be fined or lose Medicaid and Medicare funding. Over 700 hospitals across the nation qualify for penalties due to high rates of hospital-acquired infections.
It can be frightening to accept that the very institutions we trust with our lives and health do not hold themselves to a higher standard by implementing policies capable of reducing infections and protecting the public. In the event patients lose their lives, it is common to see healthcare institutions attempt to shy away from accountability.
Shapiro Law Group – Tampa Bay Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Did You Know? According to the World Health Organization, a high number of hospital-acquired infections are caused by bacteria highly resistant to the antibiotics necessary to treat them.