Hospital Acquired Infections Increase Injuries and Healthcare Costs

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

By Madonna Stack

The results of two studies on Healthcare acquired infections were released by the CDC on March 25, 2014. These studies document that patients who are admitted to healthcare facilities in the United States have a 1 in 25 chance of developing significant infections while a patient. Health care associated infections are defined as infections not present and without evidence of incubation at the time of the admission to the health care facility. Infections that become clinically evident after 48 hours in the healthcare facility are considered to be acquired in the facility. Infections that occur after the patient is discharged from the facility can be considered healthcare associated if the organisms were acquired while in the hospital.

The most serious of these infections are those acquired in the intensive care unit; during and after surgery; and from tubes such as those used to administer intravenous fluids and blood or drain fluids such as urine and surgical blood. The most common infections are caused by: Acinetobacter, C. Difficile, Staph Aureus including MRSA, E.Coli, and Pseudomonas. An article released in September 2013 in the Journal of the American Medical Association documents that these infections cost the US healthcare system $9.9 billion dollars and adds about $45,814 more to the cost for one patient. They also are a significant cause of long term injury, and death in children and adult. Many infections are preventable and may be the result of medical negligence. Call our medical malpractice trial team for a free consultation at (212) 684-1880

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