Hospitals in general go to great lengths to make sure their buildings are sterile, but nearly 2% of the patients who die each year die of infections they caught while in the hospital. Hospitals usually go to great lengths to keep sterile. In some cases, fatal hospital infections are not completely preventable. But in many cases, the hospital could have done much more to ensure sanitary conditions. If someone you love died from a preventable hospital infection, you need the help of a lawyer.
The fact that hospital patients are typically very ill means their immune systems are weaker than when they are healthy. Due to their weakened immune systems, hospital patients are likelier to die from relatively minor infections. An infection that would be extremely unpleasant but not deadly for a healthy person could easily be fatal for a hospital patient. Hospitals that do not act quickly enough can be held liable for the preventable infection that led to the death of your loved one.
Of all the patients who die in hospitals, roughly 2% die from infections acquired while in the hospital. With roughly 2 million deaths in hospitals in America per year, that translates to roughly 100,000 dying from hospital infections every year. Most of those deaths are from urinary tract infections, infections where surgery was performed, or pneumonia acquired while in the hospital.
These infections are often caused by bacteria or viruses that would not be nearly as harmful for a healthy person. This even includes many everyday medical conditions, such as upper respiratory tract infections, that healthy people might not worry about at all. Once these bacteria and viruses are allowed to enter the body of a person with a weak immune system, they can take over the body much more easily than with healthy people.
Deaths from urinary tract infections are often the result of catheters that are not sanitized well or nurses who do not sanitize the area before inserting it. Surgical infections are also frequently the result of inadequate sterilization before, during, or after the operation was performed. Pneumonia frequently develops after an infection in the respiratory tract gets out of control, something hospitals are usually able to prevent by monitoring patients for infections and acting quickly when one is noticed.