Congressional researches say that the federal government should be doing more to protect patients from contracting infections at hospitals. According to the Government Accountability Office, the federal government needs to establish proper standards for hospitals to reduce infections.
In Baltimore, Maryland, one man is suing Northwest and Sinai hospitals for wrongful death. Michael Bennett says that his 88-year-old father died because he was infected by six different bacteria while undergoing treatment for a respiratory virus in 2004. The infection reportedly contaminated his blood, heart, and lungs before destroying his leg and his kidneys. He died soon after. Maryland is one of over 20 US states that have measures requiring that hospitals in the state reveal their infection rates.
Consumers Union, an interest group, says that approximately 90,000 people die each year at US hospitals after contracting an infection, with 1.9 million others becoming sick from infection. The fatalities have cost the country about $5 million more in health care spending.
Many infections are contracted through ventilators, intravenous tubes, and catheters that can lead to staph infections, urinary tract infections, or other infections.
Federal officials, however, say that hospitals are cited for improper practices that lead to patient infections.
It is the responsibility of hospitals in the United States to ensure that patients receive a certain level of medical care. Part of that standard requires a certain degree of cleanliness and sanitation at the medical facility. Patients are not supposed to suffer because a hospital has not taken the proper steps to ensure that they’ve reduced the risks of infection.
In Maryland and Washington D.C., our medical malpractice attorneys represent injury victims and families that have suffered because of hospital negligence or carelessness.
Report calls for better hospital standards, Baltimore Sun, April 17, 2008
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