Consumer Reports Warns of Dangers of Hospital Acquired Infections
The number of annual medical errors that occur in a clinical setting continues to rise. Figures have jumped over the past 15 years from 98,000 deaths to an estimated 400,000 – highlighting the health risks posed to those who seek medical care.
Whether seeking treatment on an in-patient or out-patient basis, statistics given by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that on the average day, one out of every 25 patients contracts an infection during their hospital stay.
Antibiotic-resistant infections, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus(MRSA) are among the most worrisome, according to a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, while the most common are pneumonia, gastrointestinal and surgical wound infections.
These healthcare-related infections may be attributed to a variety of causes within hospitals, says the CDC. Overuse of antibiotics is one underlying factor, but some are caused by unhygienic practice within ambulatory surgical centers, nursing homes, clinics and rehabilitation centers.
While clinical and hospital protocols for hygiene are under scrutiny, such infections cost more than 9.8 billion to treat every year.
Those who have acquired an illness or infection during a hospital visit are urged to speak with the New York medical malpractice lawyers at The Sanders Firm to learn about their legal rights, as monetary damages may be available if negligence was to blame.
Hospital acquired infections a danger to patients
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, an estimated 721,800 infections were recorded for 648,000 patients in 2011 alone. These healthcare related infections proved fatal for 75,000 of these patients.
Individuals that contract an infection or suffer post-operative complications during a hospital visit may have a better chance of survival depending on their facility, according to recent data from Consumer Reports, which updated safety scores for more than 2,500 hospitals nationwide.
Using the most recent information from the CDC and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the report ranked hospitals in five distinct categories:
- Overuse of CT scans
- Hospital-acquired infection rate
- Ease of communication among medical staff and patients
- Death rates
Doris Peter of Consumer Reports told CBS News, “Higher-rated hospitals have lower death rates, have lower readmission rates, they have lower rates of hospital-acquired infections…So all the things that you don’t want to happen to you are, in general, lower in those hospitals.”
U.S. hospitals fared poorly for the most part with the average rating just 51 out of 100 points. Some 43 facilities received less than 30 points, with Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans and Cleveland’s Bolivar Medical Center scoring the lowest, earning 19 and 11 points respectively.
NY hospital malpractice lawyers
Representing New York residents for more than 46 years, The Sanders Firm advocates on behalf of those injured by negligence in a hospital setting. We believe that health care professionals who fail to provide a reasonable standard of care and subsequently endanger the lives of their patients should be held accountable for their actions. Given the alarming rate of preventable medical errors that take place in our nation’s hospitals, it’s no surprise that malpractice litigation has been a last resort for patients who’ve suffered irreparable injuries and financial losses.
If you or someone you love has been harmed by surgical negligence, poor hygiene standards or other transgressions, compensation may be available to cover related medical expenses, loss of wages, disability and other losses. To discuss your eligibility for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in New York, please contact our offices today at 1.800 FAIR PLAY (888.660.3714).
- CBS News, In U.S., hospital-acquired infections run rampant, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/in-us-hospital-acquired-infections-run-rampant/
- Consumer Reports, Survive your hospital stay, http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/05/survive-your-hospital-stay/index.htm
- CBS News, Is your hospital failing? http://www.cbsnews.com/news/consumer-reports-hospital-rankings-show-if-hospital-failing/