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Personal Injury · Wrongful Death · Medical Malpractice

Who Should Pay if the Hospital Makes You Sick

When you go into the hospital for treatment, you expect to come out feeling better, not worse. But for hundreds of thousands of patients, they come out of the hospital sicker than they were upon arrival. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in every 25 patients is infected with a Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) at any given time. HAIS are hospital borne illness that infect patients while they are receiving treatment within a medical center. They are reportedly found in a variety of medical environment, so virtually all patients are at some risk of infection.

An article in the HealthDay Reporter speaks about the cost of fighting and treating these HAIs. The costs became so extensive that Medicare reportedly stopped reimbursing hospitals for HAI-related care, in an effort to make them more responsive to the issue. As stated in the article, these illnesses can cost a single hospital system more than $2 million each year and those costs are passed along to the patients.

As stated on the CDC website, there were more than 700,000 cases of HAI transmissions in 2011. Of that number, about 75,000 patients died while hospitalized. The most common sources of infection, according to the CDC, are as follows:

  • Urinary tract infections are associated with catheter usage. These conditions cost about $900 per patient to treat.
  • Bloodstream infections occur through the use of a central line. Annual treatment for this condition is $45,000.
  • Infections at the site of surgery cost about $21,000 per patient to treat. These incidents happen at a rate of one in every 50 operations.
  • Clostridium difficile infection is passed through infective spores. It is treated at a cost of $11,000 for each patient.

Illnesses Caused by HAIs

When exposed to an HAI, patients can develop numerous injuries in addition to their underlying conditions. These illnesses include, but are not limited to:

  • Bloodstream Infection (Septicemia or Fungal) – When bacteria enters the blood stream, infection can spread throughout the body. Septicemia is an extremely dangerous condition that can spread quickly and lead to the patient’s death.
  • Gastrointestinal Illnesses – are caused by parasites infect the gastrointestinal tract of the body. They generally result in diarrhea and vomiting, but it may also cause severe stomach pains and bloody stools.
  • Pneumonia – This is a condition that takes hold of a patient when bacteria enters the lungs. With pneumonia, air sacs within the lungs are filled with pus. This causes the lungs to inflame and restricts the breathing process.
  • Urinary Tract Infections – Infection may also enter the urinary tract, causing painful illness. The bladder may be attacked, as well as the kidneys.
  • Meningitis – This is a life threatening illness that develops when the meninges become inflamed. These are membranes surrounding the spinal cord and brain.

If you or a loved one has experienced the pain of a Healthcare Associated Infections, contact the Miami legal team of Pita & Del Prado, PA for knowledgeable and skillful representation. Call the office today at (888) 670-8060 for a free consultation.

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