Determining Medical Malpractice Liability For Hospital Acquired Infection

Posted by on Oct 7, 2016 in Medical Malpractice | 0 comments

The spread of infection in the hospital is common but it can be easily treated and may not pose any danger to the patients. However, if the infection was acquired due to the negligence of the medical personnel that is a different story. According to the website of The Abel Law Firm, medical professionals have a duty of care especially when performing surgical procedures.

Hospital acquired infection (HAI) is an infection that occurs in a hospital patient not associated with the patient’s admitted diagnosis or health issue. It the infection happens in 48 hours after being admitted, it is likely HAI. Such infections can be acquired in three ways and they are called risk factors:

Patient Risk Factors

Patient risk factors include the duration of the patient’s stay in a clinical setting, the severity of illness or injury for which the patient was admitted, and the function and capacity of the immune system during their visit.

Organizational Risk Factors

These factors include hospital cleanliness and treatment setting in general, which includes the filtration of the HVAC system, concentration of patient beds, cleanliness of water systems, cleanliness of building surfaces, and sterility of medical devices.

Iatrogenic Risk Factors

These factors include performance of care by doctors, hospital staff, nurses, and other care providers. This includes the frequency of hand washing, antibiotic use, and care during invasive procedures.

So who can be held liable for hospital acquired infection? Determining liability in hospital acquired infection can prove to be challenging in the legal perspective. An investigation on the specific circumstances, the reason for improper treatment, and possible preventive measures need to be administered. When a hospital is involved in a case, determining liability can be a challenge. If the doctor who performed the procedure is an independent contractor, then the hospital may not be deemed liable for the hospital acquired infection.

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