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What Is the Link Between Infections and Medical Malpractice?

Nov 13, 2017 | Firm News, Medical Malpractice

When people go to hospitals and surgical centers in Indianapolis for medical procedures, they do so with the expectation they will leave in better health than when they arrived. Unfortunately, 75,000 people die from, and 648,000 develop infections they acquired during their time in hospitals and medical care centers every year, states Consumer Reports. Many of these infections occur because of provider negligence and failure to diagnose and treat errors.

Many infections, including those that occur from negligence and substandard care, are preventable. Here is a brief overview of infections and medical malpractice.

How patients develop infections

Hospitals are a common breeding ground for some infections. To prevent them, medical staff must adhere to safety, hygiene and sterilization practices and standards. When doctors fail to follow proper procedure to identify and treat infections in patients, the risk of them suffering additional injury or death increases. Patients are likely to sustain irreparable harm and must adjust to a lesser quality of life than they are accustomed to.

Types of infections

Infections are either localized or generalized. After invasive medical procedures, medical personnel must assess their patients for signs of infection. Common symptoms of localized infections include:

  • Inflammation around wound/surgical site
  • Pain near wound/operation site
  • Elevated temperature near wound/surgical site

Localized infections tend to develop in body parts or areas of the body. Generalized infections are more widespread. They enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body, affecting all organ systems and tissues. Untreated, localized infections can lead to limb amputation and disability. Untreated or undiagnosed generalized infections can lead to shock, organ failure and premature death.

When doctors and other health care personnel fail in their duty to adhere to proper protocol to diagnose and treat their patients, they often cause irreparable harm and injury. The effects of their mistakes and negligence can have life-altering consequences for patients and their loved ones.