Our Blogs

Is It Malpractice if You Catch a Deadly Infection in a Hospital?

Written by Berkowitz

Connecticut's Medical Malpractice Attorneys - Berkowitz and Hanna LLCAfter surgery or childbirth you acquire an infection. Whether it is a deadly infection or one that makes you extremely ill for several weeks, that infection was not part of the plan when you checked into that hospital or outpatient facility. But, what are your options for recourse? Could you sue the hospital or physician for the infection you contracted?

Unfortunately, infections are not as easy to prove as other forms of medical malpractice – and the burden of proof is on the plaintiff. Hospital acquired infections are a significant cause of injury and death in the U.S. and they are responsible for an estimated 1.7 million infections and almost 100,000 deaths every year. The most common types of infections seen include staph, pneumonia, bloodstream infections, surgical site infections and urinary tract infections.

What if You Acquire an Infection in a Hospital?

If you have acquired an infection while staying in the hospital, you must first prove that the hospital or physician’s negligence is what caused you to contract that illness. Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are those caused by virus, bacteria or fungi that occur after or during a medical procedure. According to the CDC, about 1 out of 20 hospitals have patients that develop some form of infection.

In addition to the pain and suffering associated with these infections, these illnesses can be financially draining for the plaintiff – and even cost thousands in treatment or additional surgeries. Also, there has been a rise in the number of antibiotic-resistant infections in the United States, which can cause severe injury or even death.

Most Common Types of HAIs

  1. Carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE)
  2. Catheter-assisted urinary tract infections
  3. Ventilator-assisted pneumonia
  4. Clostridium difficile
  5. Surgical site infections
  6. Meningitis
  7. Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
  8. Sepsis (blood infection)

The Difficulty of Proving Negligence

Even if the infection you have acquired is a common HAI, you must still prove that the hospital was negligent in their infection-prevention measures and that their direct negligence caused you to contract the infection. You will need to prove this with a reasonable degree of medical certainty and also show that you did not contribute toward your acquiring the infection – such as failing to follow wound care instructions or being around another individual with the same infection.

Speak with a CT Medical Malpractice Attorney

Proving a hospital-acquired infection and collecting damages is by far one of the more complex types of medical malpractice claims to file. The burden of proof of the plaintiff is extensive and without the proper legal assistance, your claim will likely be denied. Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule a no obligation case evaluation. Call or contact us online to get started.