Infections acquired by hospital patients that are not connected with the health concerns or diagnoses they were admitted for are known as Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAI).
If a person contracts certain illnesses and causes their condition to worsen, the hospital and doctor in charge may be held liable for medical misconduct.
HAIs are preventable and can lead to more complications for patients admitted with an entirely different illness. The effects of such infections include significant patient illness and death (mortality and morbidity), prolonged hospital admission, additional diagnostic interventions, and additional cost of treatment.
HAI can become fatal when it develops into sepsis. Infections can result in sepsis when a person’s body produces an overwhelming amount of immune chemicals into the blood. This, in turn, can lead to severe damage to internal organs and cause death as well. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 270,000 Americans die of sepsis yearly.
Surgical Site Infection (SSI), which is also an example of a hospital-acquired infection, according to the World Health Organization, threatens the lives of millions of patients each year and contributes to the spread of antibiotic resistance.
It was also stated that in the United States, SSI contributed to patients spending more than 400,000 extra days in hospitals at the cost of an additional $900 million per year.
This is why there are procedures guiding every medical contributor to ensure that the highest level of care is maintained at all times to reduce infections.
In What Ways Are Infections Acquired In A Hospital?
Infections can be acquired in a hospital due to varying factors. Since the factors are known to the medical practitioners, there is a duty of care placed on them to avoid the visible risk factors and assist their patients to health without additional health risks. They are as follows:
- Patient risk factor
This is based on the factors that revolve around the patient’s presence in the hospital. This involves the duration of the patient’s admission to the hospital, the severity of the illness they were admitted for, and the functionality or level of capacity of their immune system during their stay at the hospital.
Therefore, if a patient is known to have a low immune system, extra steps should be taken to ensure such a patient does not contract any infections.
- Hospital risk factors
This factor involves the level of cleanliness and adherence to medical best practices in the hospital. This includes the filtration of the HVAC system, cleanliness of water systems, sterility of medical devices, cleanliness of building surfaces, and the sanitization of patients’ beds.
- Iatrogenic risk factors
This revolves around the standard of care maintained by the hospital staff, doctors, nurses, and other care providers involved in patient care.
This involves their hygiene, such as washing their hands, and the care used during procedures such as intubation and urine catheterization.
How to Prove Medical Malpractice On The Grounds Of Hospital Acquired Infections Using Medical Animation
The task of proving medical malpractice on the grounds of hospital-acquired infection is not a small one and must be handled by experts in the field. Hence, to adequately prove this, an expert witness who is regarded as an authority in the medical field must be acquired to assist in giving accurate testimony.
Before HAI can be proved, there must have been an adequate investigation into the truth of the case. It can then be presented to the court via medical animation.
Medical animation is known to be able to provide simplification in rather complex cases.
To prove medical malpractice resulting from hospital-acquired infection, you must prove two main things:
- It must be proven that there was a breach of care by the doctor, care provider, or the hospital.
Naturally, every patient is owed the duty of reasonable care in the form of cleanliness, provision of adequate antibiotics, embracing medical best practices during surgery, and providing a sterile environment upholding good hygiene.
When there is a breach of such, you have a case.
- It must also be proven that the infection is a direct or proximate cause by the physician.
It means that if it were not for the action or inaction of the medical provider, the patient wouldn’t have suffered from the infection.
If you can prove both, your hospital and/or the caregiver can be held liable for the infections.
In an action for medical malpractice, the victim can get damages that cover the medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and punitive damages.. To get the best out of your case, you can use medical animation. However, the services of an experienced legal animation company must be considered.