Surprising Facts About Hospital-Acquired Infections
As the term suggests, hospital-acquired infections refer to any infection that a patient contracts while in the hospital. These infections do not include illnesses that a patient developed before going to the hospital. Sometimes, a hospital-acquired infection may be the result of medical malpractice. If you or a loved one develops pneumonia, surgical site infections, bloodstream infections, or other hospital-acquired infections, a medical malpractice lawyer can evaluate your case and explain your legal rights.
Hospital-Acquired Infections are Common
It’s a common misconception that this form of medical malpractice is rare. In fact, upwards of one million hospital-acquired infections occur in the U.S. each year. Hospital-acquired infections do not only affect patients who have undergone surgery; serious illnesses can develop in patients simply because of skin-to-skin contact. Furthermore, hospital-acquired infections can be deadly. In 2011, about 75,000 patients died of a hospital-acquired infection while they were still hospitalized, according to Everyday Health. This figure doesn’t include deaths that occurred after the patient was released from the hospital.
Bacterial Infections May Resist Antibiotic Treatment
You might think that if you acquire an infection, the best place to be is in a hospital because presumably, it can be diagnosed and treated rapidly. But in fact, many hospital-acquired infections are resistant to antibiotics. Each year, thousands of patients develop antibiotic-resistant diseases such as clostridium difficile (C-Diff) and Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
High-Touch Areas Can Harbor Microorganisms
Improper handwashing accounts for nearly half of all hospital-acquired infections. Yet, skin-to-skin contact isn’t the only culprit. Patients shouldn’t assume that high-touch areas such as bedrails, trays, and elevator buttons are sterilized regularly. When packing for a stay in the hospital, it’s a good idea to bring along sanitizing wipes.
The legal team at Pegalis & Erickson LLC has been dedicated to defending the legal rights of patients for more than 40 years. Our medical negligence lawyers have experience advocating on behalf of clients in cases involving hospital-acquired infections, birth trauma, wrongful death, and many others. If you would like one of our attorneys to review your case, you can contact our malpractice law firm in Long Island, New York at (516) 684-2900.
How Having a Disability Can Change Your Life
Life can be dramatically different for individuals who have disabilities, such as those caused by medical malpractice or birth injuries. Disabilities may cause physical hardship, such as chronic pain and mobility impairment, and emotional challenges, including depression and anxiety. Many people with disabilities cannot work or must switch to a different occupation. This can cause financial hardship, which may be further exacerbated by ongoing medical expenses. Individuals with disabilities may need to hire a caregiver, undergo expensive medical treatments, and purchase adaptive equipment.
It can also be difficult for a person with a disability to move about in the community, which is one of the reasons why it’s so important for communities to promote accessibility. This issue is highlighted by the designation of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which has been recognized since 1992.
If you or a loved one has developed a disability due to medical malpractice in Long Island, New York, you could consider talking to a personal injury attorney about filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. You can contact the legal team at Pegalis & Erickson, LLC at (516) 684-2900 and let us know how we can help you.
What Every Patient Needs to Know About Medical Malpractice Myths
Plenty of myths abound regarding medical malpractice claims, such as the myth that these types of lawsuits drive up the cost of healthcare for everyone and the belief that the majority of medical negligence lawsuits are baseless. Discovering the truth behind these common myths may change your perceptions of medical malpractice. If you feel you may have been affected by medical mistakes, you can contact a medical malpractice attorney to explore your legal options.
Myth: Malpractice Increases Healthcare Spending
This myth is commonly used by some lawmakers to justify establishing caps limiting the amount of medical malpractice payouts. Yet, medical malpractice represents only a very small fraction— less than half of one percent —of the total healthcare industry. In fact, medical malpractice itself is the culprit of increasing healthcare costs. Preventable medical mistakes cost billions annually because patients need additional medical care.
Myth: Most Malpractice Claims are Frivolous
Before a person can file a medical malpractice claim, certain elements must be present. It’s highly unlikely that a medical malpractice attorney would agree to represent a plaintiff who does not have a viable claim, given the costs involved with litigation. Additionally, some states require medical malpractice claims to go through a medical review process. Those that are not meritorious may be dismissed. In other words, the vast majority of malpractice complaints filed against providers are indeed meritorious—and many of them involve serious injuries or wrongful death.
Myth: Doctors Prefer to Avoid Settlements
Another common myth about medical malpractice is that doctors prefer to avoid settling lawsuits at all costs, presumably because this might cast doubt on their credibility. In actuality, settling a case is not an admission of liability on the part of the defendant.
If you have questions about medical malpractice claims, the legal team at Pegalis & Erickson LLC can provide the answers. To discuss your case, you can schedule a consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer serving Long Island, New York. Contact our malpractice law firm at (516) 684-2900 or browse our website to learn more about us.
How Handwashing Prevents Patient Infections
Hospital-acquired infections are all too common, and quite often, they are preventable with simple measures. If you or a loved one has been hospitalized, you can serve as a patient advocate to reduce the risk of medical malpractice. It’s your right to ask that any healthcare provider who enters the room wash his or her hands prior to carrying out duties. It’s also highly advisable for family members of patients to wash their hands well before entering the patients’ rooms.
Handwashing can prevent a wide range of bacterial, viral, and other infections. The importance of this simple preventive measure is highlighted during National Handwashing Awareness Week from December 6 th through the 12 th in 2015. Healthcare providers are in contact with dozens of patients each day and can easily transmit microorganisms from one patient to the next. This can occur even if the healthcare worker wears sterile gloves. As with other forms of medical negligence, you could choose to consult a medical malpractice attorney if you believe that you’ve acquired an infection because a healthcare provider failed to follow handwashing protocol.
Pegalis & Erickson, LLC is a malpractice law firm in Long Island, New York with years of experience defending the rights of patients who have suffered from medical malpractice. You can reach our office at (516) 684-2900 to arrange a case review.
The Dangers of Construction Accidents
Serious accidents can occur anywhere, yet construction sites are particularly hazardous. Unless strict safety protocols are followed at all times, workers and passersby may be at risk of serious injuries or even wrongful death. Any number of construction site accidents may lead to a wrongful death lawsuit, such as falls from an elevation, exposure to toxic substances, and impacts from falling objects, just to name a few. With the help of a construction accident lawyer, individuals can explore their options for securing compensation for their injuries and other losses.
Bone fractures are one example of a serious injury that may result from a construction accident. A simple fracture may force a construction worker to be out of work for weeks while recovering. A more serious fracture—such as an open fracture in which the bone is exposed or protrudes through the skin—can involve steep medical bills and a prolonged recovery time. Additionally, patients may be at risk of complications of open fractures, such as blood clots, infections, and poor healing of soft tissues and bone.
On a construction site, workers and supervisors are supposed to wear hardhats to protect the delicate brain from injury. Yet, this basic type of safety equipment may not always be provided, leaving workers vulnerable to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). A TBI may occur when a worker falls from scaffolding or another elevated surface, or is struck on the head by falling construction debris. In severe cases, brain injuries can result in lifelong disability and significant functional impairments that reduce quality of life.
Eye injuries are another possibility on a construction site. Construction workers who are not provided with proper safety goggles may sustain eye injuries from airborne debris, such as debris created when using power tools. Sometimes, permanent vision loss may occur.
Have you or a loved one been injured or killed in a construction accident? The personal injury lawyers of Pegalis & Erickson, LLC are here to help. Call (516) 684-2900 to schedule a consultation with a construction accident lawyer in Long Island, New York and discuss filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
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