Millions of people in the United States turn to hospitals and healthcare professionals to provide them with the treatment they need when injured or in poor health.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released these statistics about the United States from 2010.
- There were 35.1 million hospital discharges from short-stay hospitals.
- There were 51.4 million procedures performed.
- There was an overnight stay rate of 7.6 percent.
While thousands of people visit hospitals to receive necessary care, some patients leave the hospitals having acquired an infection or illness, and the healthcare system spends billions of dollars a year to treat hospital-acquired infections. One common infection that patients may acquire as a result of a hospital visit is a urinary tract infection, or UTI.
What is a UTI?
A UTI is an infection that involves the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra. An infection in the urinary tract can cause a variety of symptoms such as those listed below.
- Pelvic or rectal pain
- Blood in the urine
- Painful urination
- Frequent urge to urinate
If left untreated, a serious UTI infection can cause permanent scarring along the urinary tract. Sometimes, pyelonephritis – or a kidney infection – can develop as a result of the UTI. Pyelonephritis can cause long-term kidney damage if left untreated, and can even result in death for those who have compromised immune systems or are otherwise unhealthy.
Those affected by these or other hospital-acquired infections often wonder what or who is to blame, and what options they have to recover damages they’ve suffered.
Causes of Hospital Acquired Urinary Tract Infections
Those most at risk of contracting a UTI are those with a urinary catheter, patients undergoing urological manipulations, and patients with a disease that compromises the immune system.
Those staying in a hospital are typically already at a higher risk of infection because they may have weaker immune systems than do non-hospitalized, healthy people. However, other factors also put patients at risk of contracting an infection in the hospital. In some cases, negligence by healthcare staff or a hospital may be to blame for urinary tract infections.
For example, if a hospital professional doesn’t follow proper sanitization procedures, a patient may be at a higher risk of contracting a UTI.
A study published in 2008 in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that 56 percent of hospitals surveyed did not have a system in place for monitoring which patients had urinary catheters, and 74 percent did not monitor catheter duration. This lack of monitoring could play a role in the incidence of UTIs amongst hospital patients.
If you’ve acquired a UTI as a result of a medical professional’s or hospital’s actions, or lack of action, then you may be entitled to damages for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages related to the infection.
Call Gacovino, Lake & Associates if Filing a Malpractice Claim for a UTI
If you contracted a UTI caused by a hospital’s or hospital worker’s lack of proper care, and if you suffered or sustained a long-term injury as a result of the infection, speak with a malpractice attorney immediately. In New York, medical professionals must maintain a duty of care when administering health care. If they fail to do so, they may be liable for any injuries or health complications that follow.
At Gacovino, Lake & Associate P.C., our attorneys help patients injured by hospital or medical negligence. If you acquired a UTI while at a hospital, we’ll fight for your rights as a victim of a hospital-acquired infection. To get started filing your claim today, call us at 800-550-0000 or use our contact form to set up your consultation.