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Hospitals and the Risk of Patient Infections


If you go into a hospital for any reason, the expectation is that you will come out better than when you went in—at least, that’s the goal. And while there is never a guarantee of any recovery—medicine is not an exact science—there is at least the expectation that you won’t end up worse than when you went into the hospital.

But that is not always the case—and no, we’re not talking about medical malpractice, which is probably the first thing you think about when you think of people getting sick or injured in hospitals. Rather, we are talking about illnesses and infections that are acquired while a patient is in the hospital, and which is unrelated to the original reason why the patient was in the hospital.

The scenario of getting an infection inside of a hospital is so common, it even has a name; it is called a hospital-acquired infection, or HAI.

Why So Common and Dangerous?

It is easier than you may think to get an infection inside of a hospital because you have a mix of dangerous factors all in one place.

The hospital is full of people who, because of illness, injury, disease, or because of wounds or other conditions, are especially susceptible to infection and disease, and especially unable to fight off even the minor germs that most of us would be able to fight off.

Combine that with the number of people who come into the hospital from the outside—visitors, doctors, staff, workers—all of them walk in with germs and bacteria, and the things inside of the hospital, can create a serious risk of infection to a compromised community.

Hard to Detect

One reason why HAIs are so dangerous is because they often get worse before they are even detected.

This is because the symptoms of an HAI often are similar to the reason why the patient is in the hospital in the first place; someone post-surgery who is groggy and lethargic and who has a sore throat, may just be written off as having a “tough time recovering from surgery,” instead of having an HAI.

In many cases, people don’t even manifest symptoms of an HAI, until they are discharged from the hospital, and they, or family, never even realize that they have an illness acquired at the hospital.

How HAIs Get Transmitted

There is nothing unique about the actual germs or diseases or viruses that people contract in the hospitals. They are the same ones you may get routinely outside of the hospital. But the unique factors of the hospital, and the patients, make them much more likely to be dangerous or even deadly.

Many times, HAIs  are contracted through common areas, or common surfaces that aren’t properly disinfected. That may be linens, countertops, tabletops, or the surfaces of diagnostic machines like MRIs.

Did you get sick or injured while in a Nevada hospital? Contact the personal injury lawyers at Cameron Law today at 702-745-4545.


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