If you have acquired an infection from a sterile medical facility, you should call a medical malpractice lawyer to find out if you have a legal claim.
A hospital is supposed to be a place where ill people can go for treatment. Even with the sterile policies, procedures, and protocols, there may be a risk of a patient acquiring an infection from a medical device or the medical facility. Furthermore, staff working at the hospital or facility is required to wash their hands before touching a patient, use sterile gloves and gowns, and wear facial masks.When the sterilization practices are not adhered to, bad things can happen.
Most medical malpractice lawyers should have handled several claims that involve healthcare associated infections, also known as hospital acquired infections, or HAIs for short. There are 100s of different infections. When it is discovered and treated in a timely manner, it is possible for the patient to recover. Sometimes the pathogen can cause immense suffering for months or even years. In a severe cases, the patient could die from an infection that was preventable.
If you hire a medical malpractice lawyer, you should hire someone who is adversed in medical malpractice claims that include outbreaks of deadly infections as well as incidents that may involve a misdiagnosed or undiagnosed infection that could have been prevented. If you or a loved one were harmed because of a preventable infection acquired in a hospital, it is encouraged that you to consult a medical malpractice lawyer today.
One of the most common types of hospital acquired infections are a class of mycobacteria known as non tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM). There are approximately 150 different types of NTMs including mycobacterium abscessus, mycobacterium chimaera, and mycobacterium avium. NTMs have become increasingly prevalent over the last decade with several deaths occurring in hospitals after undergoing a surgical open heart procedure involving Sorin 3-T Heater-Coolers of heater cooler systems. Hospitals in South Carolina and elsewhere have reported outbreaks of NTMs in patients who were given steroid injections, undergoing breast surgery, and other procedures. These infections must legally be reported to state health departments and the CDC who typically monitor any patient or family member who might have been exposed to the pathogen. In general if a patient is infected with a NTM, they will be able to recover compensation with the help of a medical malpractice lawyer.
Discovering NTMs in Medical Facilities
Most mycobacteria has a long incubation period; sometimes up to six years, before a patient exhibits symptoms. Once they do begin experience sudden weight loss, night sweats, coughing up blood, weakness, and other symptoms, their doctor might fail to diagnose the infection, particularly when no culture is taken. Often patients with a NTM infection is diagnosed with the flu and sent home. Unfortunately, this often results in a worsening of symptoms and death.
Causes of Infectious Outbreaks in Hospitals
There are many reasons for an infectious outbreak to occur at a medical facility. Some of these include:
- Failing to cover up one’s hair
- Wearing jewelry
- High volumes of traffic in and out of an operating room
- Allowing unscrubbed visitors to enter an OR
- Failing to change gloves often
- Failing to secure masks
- Using sutures, gauze, and other medical supplies that fell outside of the sterile area
- Utilizing a method called flash sterilization
- Keeping medical supplies near unsterile areas
- Storing intravenous fluids or sterile equipment in areas that are susceptible to splashing water
- Washing with unclean water at the facility
- Lack of systematic control
Medical errors are said to be the third leading cause of death in the country. Any skilled medical malpractice law firm should understand how devastating something like this can be, especially when most of these errors were avoidable.
Why Hire an Attorney?
If you or a family member acquired an infection while staying for treatment at a hospital, you should find an attorney who wants to hear your story. When you choose a law firm to be your legal advocate, you should feel confident in knowing they:
- Are well versed in medical malpractice law
- Understand hospital acquired infections and other infectious diseases
- Have a network of expert witnesses who work in the medical industry
- Are equipped with the financial resources to take on such a complex case
- Know the extent of damages that might occur after an infection
- Understand that many victims of NTMs require years of treatment
If you developed an NTM or other infection after being admitted to a hospital or medical center, you may have a cause for medical negligence.