Hospital Acquired Infections Costing Lives and Billions

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

By Lisa Cummings

As a medical practice litigation firm, we feel it is important to discuss important medical news, especially news about infections. Would it surprise you to find out that many medical treatments are costing billions of dollars because of hospital acquired infections (HAI)? Reports have demonstrated that some serious surgical site infections make up about one-third of the patient’s medical bills, such as in the JAMA Internal Medicine reports. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that HAI are more expensive to treat and leads to almost 100,000 patient deaths in United States hospitals. Reports show that the use of ventilators during surgery leads to pneumonia, while catheter use is associated with urinary tract infections.

Recently in Los Angeles a surgeon caused a staphylococcus epidermis bacteria outbreak in cardiac patients at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. This surgeon wore gloves that had microscopic tears during an implant replacement heart valve procedure while he suffered from inflammation on his hand, said the hospital. Infection resistant bacteria affects thousands of Americans each year, and many survivors find themselves losing limbs or have hearing loss.

Reports show almost 100,000 cases of MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) happen every year in the United States in hospitals or other healthcare settings and kill 20,000 people per year. Our medical malpractice team is available to talk confidentially and without obligation to people who believe they may be suffering from a hospital acquired infection.

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