Hospitals Fail to Protect Patients from Bacteria
By: Cohen, Placitella & Roth @ Nov 28, 2016
Clostridium difficile, or C. diff for short, is not a new bacteria. In fact, for more than a decade, health officials have been warning against the bacteria, and encouraging hospitals to take measures to prevent the bug from infecting patients. Despite warnings, however, a new analysis published by Consumer Reports highlights that hospitals have made little progress, and rates of C. diff in hospitals are still much higher than they should be.
The Dangers of Clostridium Difficile
C. diff can cause serious side effects in all affected persons, but is particularly dangerous for those with compromised health and immune systems, like hospital patients and the elderly. In fact, the bacteria can lead to side effects including, but not limited to, fever, frequent and potentially bloody diarrhea, nausea, and kidney failure. Becoming infected with the bacteria is particularly worrisome for older people, one of 11 of whom die from the infection within a month of contracting it, as reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.What’s more, 20 percent of patients who get the disease, and are cured of it, come down with it a second or subsequent time.
When it comes to treating the disease once a patient has been infected, antibiotics are often used. However, in the toughest of cases, antibiotics may fail to do the job, and fecal transplant procedures may be relied upon instead.
Hospitals Fail to Properly Protect Against Bacteria
Despite the dangers of the bacteria, and the fact that these dangers have been known for years, hospitals continually fail to meet the mark when it comes to patient protection. To be sure, an article in Philly.com highlights that one-third of hospitals in the United States fail to properly prevent against the infection, including multiple hospitals within the Philadelphia area.
Part of the problem is that C. diff is extremely difficult to combat; standard hand sanitizer won’t kill the bacteria on hands, and on toilets and other hard surfaces, tough strategies – like the use of bleach or ultraviolet light – are necessary. Some hospitals are investing in robots that disinfect areas of the hospital using ultraviolet light.
Your Rights When a Hospital-Acquired Infection Leads to Harm
As a patient in Philadelphia, you have the right to be treated in an area that is safe. If you acquired an infection, like C. diff, as a result of improper safety precautions and sanitization techniques, and if this infection leads to harm or losses, you have the right to pursue compensation for your losses. At the law firm of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. our experienced Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys have your best interests in mind, and will do everything we can to improve your chances of recovering your maximum compensation amount.
To learn more about your right to pursue damages following a hospital-acquired infection that leads to harm, or results in the death of a loved one, call our offices today. You can also contact us by filling out our online contact form.