When you or your loved one are under the care of a medical professional, you entrust that professional to make sure you get the treatment you need. In some cases, however, there are major errors doctors make when it comes to infections. Patients can end up with significant complications due to an infection to which they were exposed during a hospital stay, or by a medical professional’s negligence. On any day, an infection can leave a patient sidelined with fever, fatigue, and other symptoms, needing additional treatments in order to recover. In some cases, however, an infection can result in serious issues, even extended hospitalization or death. One such issue is sepsis, a serious condition resulting from the presence of harmful microorganisms in the blood or other tissues and the body’s response to their presence, potentially leading to the malfunctioning of various organs, shock, and death.
What Kinds of Medical Mistakes Commonly Cause Infectious Diseases?
Serious complications that result from infectious diseases are sometimes caused by mistakes, whether made by a doctor, due to faulty hospital policies, or caused by other medical professionals during medical examination or treatment. Some examples include:
- Improper use or cleaning of medical or surgical tools
- Perforations during surgery or medical treatment
- Insufficient hand-washing or other cleanliness measures
- Misdiagnosed or undiagnosed infections
- Improper treatment malpractice, or failure to identify and treat the source of an infection
- Failure to prescribe antibiotics or other prescription drugs in order to stop an infection
- Contaminated surfaces as a result of insufficient cleaning
- An insufficient infection control plan in place at the hospital or treatment facility
What Kinds of Infectious Diseases are Commonly Caused by Medical Malpractice, and How do they Impact Patients?
Generally, infections develop when certain pathogens or infectious microorganisms enter the patient’s body, causing harm. This can happen in many different ways: by ingesting contaminated food or drink, for example, or by pathogens coming into contact with a wound or broken skin. Infections may be caused by many different pathogens, whether fungal, viral, or bacterial.
There are various types of infections that can wreak havoc on a patient, such as:
- Infections in the bloodstream such as SARS, hepatitis, or other viral or bacterial infection, are often caused by an IV or catheter used to deliver blood, medicine, or nutrients to the patient
- Pneumonia, often a result of ventilators
- Urinary tract infections, caused by a catheter
- Surgical site infections, caused by bacteria or viruses entering the body at the surgical site
An affected person can face many different costs and damages as a result of an infectious disease caused by medical malpractice. For starters, there are significant medical costs—various treatments, tests, and prescription medication may be needed to help fight the infection. Additional hospital stays or doctor’s visits may be required. The affected person may miss work or school as a result of the infection or accompanying symptoms such as fever, headaches, body aches, and fatigue. They may experience significant pain and suffering, they may be unable to enjoy or participate in their everyday activities, and their quality of life, in general, may suffer. In some cases, the patient may even die as a result of the medical professional’s negligence.
How Can You Recover Damages if a Medical Professional’s Negligence is to Blame for an Infection?
In order to recover damages after an infection that resulted from a hospital or medical professional’s misconduct, you must be able to bring a claim for professional negligence. Proving this claim, including liability and damages, is difficult: medical malpractice is one of the most complex areas in personal injury law.
First, you will need to prove that the medical professional or hospital owed you a professional standard of care and that they deviated from that standard by causing the infection or failing to properly diagnose and treat it. You will also need to prove that the medical professional’s failure directly caused your damages. In most cases, this means serious, even life-threatening complications which have caused you to incur medical or hospital bills, miss work, and generally suffer from a decreased overall quality of life.
Because medical malpractice cases are so complicated, getting the help of an experienced medical malpractice lawyer is essential. A knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer will investigate the facts of your case, collecting and preserving important evidence. They will also negotiate with the insurance company towards a fair and reasonable settlement—an invaluable help, as the insurance company’s goal is to minimize payout. Should a settlement not result, your attorney will prepare a strong case on your behalf to present in court.
How Can JJS Help in the Case of an Infection that Resulted from Medical Malpractice?
If you have suffered serious or life-threatening complications as a result of an infection you acquired due to medical malpractice, contact us for a free consultation. The medical malpractice lawyers at Janet, Janet & Suggs (JJS) have decades of experience winning cases for individuals and their families, even when other law firms wouldn’t take the case. We practice law with compassion for our clients, understanding that this is a difficult time, but it is ultimately about ensuring the best quality of life and achieving peace of mind.
Our team has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of victims of medical malpractice, including record-breaking verdicts and settlements in many states. We provide personalized attention and dedicated service to each and every case we represent to help ensure each client receives the maximum compensation they deserve. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation so we can learn more about your case.
William R. “Topper” Cramer, RN, MBA, MS, CCRN, CFRN, EMT-P
Legal Nurse Consultant | Nurse Paralegal
Topper has been involved in emergency, transport, and critical care medicine since 1978 when he became an EMT in high school. A United States Air Force veteran, he remains active as a pre-hospital RN/paramedic, certified flight nurse, and critical care nurse. In addition to his professional role as a nurse consultant/nurse paralegal, he is the Chief of Operations at Walkersville Volunteer Rescue in Frederick County, Maryland. READ FULL BIO