Hospital-acquired & Surgical site infection cases Lead to Preventable Injuries

Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) are infections caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses that occur in patients who receive medical care, and linked to surgery, catheters, ventilation, and IV injections. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 1 in 20 hospitalized patients develop an infection.

Hospital-acquired and surgical site infection are significant concerns for patient, and a cause of injury and death in the U.S., responsible for an estimated 1.7 million infections per year. The most serious complications are staph infections, pneumonia, bloodstream infections, surgical site infection (SSIs), and catheter-associated urinary tract infections.

In addition to serious injuries, patients may have claims against a doctor or hospital for pain and suffering, and the high cost of further medical treatment. There have been a concerning rise in antibiotic-resistant infections as well, which can lead to death.

Joe Lyon is an experienced Ohio medical malpractice attorney, well-versed in the science and economic impact serious surgical site infection have on the victim’s life and family. 

Common Types of Hospital-Acquired Infections

  • Surgical Site Infection (SSI): anything from a superficial skin infection to more serious, life-threatening organ infections. SSIs include necrotizing fasciitis—flesh-eating bacteria—fatal in 30 to 40 percent of cases.
  • Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE): antibiotic-resistant germs that cause fatal infections in 40 to 50 percent of victims.
  • Catheter-assisted urinary tract infections: maybe the most preventable of hospital infections, occuring when a catheter is left in a patient too long. A UTI is an infection of the urethra, bladder, ureters, or kidney.
  • Ventilator Infection: a lung infection that occurs in patients kept on a mechanical ventilator.
  • Clostridium difficile: a staph infection that causes severe diarrhea and estimated to cause 14,000 American deaths every year.
  • Meningitis: an infection around the brain and spinal cord.
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA): a staph infection caused by bacteria resistant to standard antibiotics.
  • Sepsis: a bloodstream infection that can lead to an allergic reaction that can cause multi-organ system failure.

Symptoms of a Surgical Site Infection

  • Surgical wound is red, swollen, and painful
  • Wound full of pus or discharge
  • Foul-smelling wound
  • Swelling around surgical area
  • Low-blood pressure
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea

Hospital Infections Cost Billions

JAMA Internal Medicine has published a study estimating that the U.S. healthcare system pays almost $10 billion a year to treat preventable hospital-acquired infections which cost taxpayers thousands of dollars per instance, including:

  • Surgical site infections: $21,000 per infection
  • Bloodstream infections: $45,000 per infection
  • Ventilator-assisted pneumonia: $40,000 per infection
  • Clostridium difficile: $11,000 per infection
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infection: $900 per infection

If you or a loved one has suffered from a surgical site infection, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.