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Could Your Next Hospital Visit Actually Make You Sicker?

While patients generally enter the hospital expecting to get better, statistics show that many hospitals are actually making their patients sicker. In fact, contracting an infection as a result of a hospital stay happens all too frequently in California and across the country.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), over two million hospital infections occur each year — 90,000 of those resulting in death. In addition, the CDC estimates that an additional 1.5 million infections occur in long-term care facilities each year. Some of the most common healthcare-associated infections (HAI) include pneumonia, gastrointestinal illness, urinary tract infections, primary bloodstream infections, and surgical site infections.

As San Diego medical malpractice attorneys, we are encouraged that many hospitals appear to be taking steps to reduce infection rates. According to the CDC, hospitals showed significant improvement at preventing four common and deadly hospital-acquired infections over the last few years. For instance, central line-associated bloodstream infections decreased by 46 percent from 2008 and 2013.

Despite this progress, the CDC acknowledged that hospitals are still lagging at preventing surgical-site infections as well as infections of Clostridium difficile, a bacterium that can lead to potentially deadly gastrointestinal infections. On any given day, approximately 1 in 25 hospital patients still has at least one healthcare-associated infection.

The bottom line for patients is that many hospitals are still not doing everything they can to prevent infections. In hospitals that have implemented infection-reduction procedures, errors by hospital staff can still lead to deadly infections. Fortunately, courts have ruled that many of these infections are preventable and patients may recover for their injuries by filing medical malpractice lawsuits.

If you or someone you love has suffered from medical error, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego medical malpractice attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.