Did You Get an Infection During Your Hospital Stay in Albuquerque, NM?
When you or a loved one seek medical care at a hospital, you trust that the facility will provide safe and effective treatment. However, sometimes, patients leave the hospital with more than just a diagnosis; they leave with a hospital-acquired infection.
If you or a family member have experienced this unfortunate situation in New Mexico, you need an experienced and dedicated legal advocate. At Harvey & Foote, our Albuquerque hospital infection attorneys are ready to help you hold the liable party accountable for their actions and secure your entitled compensation.
What are Hospital-Acquired Infections?
A hospital-acquired infection (HAI), also known as a healthcare-associated infection, is an infection that develops in a patient as a result of their stay in a healthcare facility, such as a hospital or a clinic. These infections are not present or incubating at the time of admission but are acquired during the course of medical treatment. HAIs are a significant concern in healthcare settings because they can lead to prolonged hospital stays, increased healthcare costs, and even life-threatening complications.
Common types of hospital-acquired infections include:
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): UTIs can occur when urinary catheters are used, which are common in hospitalized patients who may have difficulty urinating independently. Improper catheter care can introduce bacteria into the urinary tract, leading to an infection.
- Surgical Site Infections (SSIs): SSIs develop at the site of a surgical incision or around a surgical wound. They can result from contamination during surgery or from improper post-operative wound care.
- Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSIs): These infections happen when bacteria enter the bloodstream through a central venous catheter, which is commonly used for patients who require frequent infusions or have difficulty receiving medications through peripheral veins.
- Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia (VAP): VAP occurs in patients who are on mechanical ventilators to assist with breathing. Bacteria can enter the lungs through the ventilator tubing, causing pneumonia.
- Clostridium difficile Infections (CDI): CDI is often linked to the use of antibiotics. It happens when the normal balance of bacteria in the colon is disrupted, allowing the Clostridium difficile bacteria to multiply and produce toxins, leading to diarrhea and potentially severe inflammation of the colon.
- Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Infections: MRSA is a type of bacteria resistant to many antibiotics. It can cause skin and soft tissue infections and can be transmitted through close contact with infected patients or contaminated surfaces.
- Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus (VRE) Infections: VRE is another type of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can cause urinary tract and bloodstream infections, often affecting patients with weakened immune systems.
- Gastrointestinal Infections: These can be caused by various pathogens, including norovirus, which can spread easily in healthcare settings and lead to symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.
Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), also known as healthcare-associated infections, can be caused by various factors and often result from a combination of circumstances.
Common causes of HAIs include:
- Microorganisms: Bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other pathogens are the primary causes of HAIs. These microorganisms can enter a healthcare facility through patients, healthcare workers, visitors, or contaminated equipment and surfaces.
- Compromised Immune Systems: Patients in healthcare settings are often vulnerable due to illness, surgery, or medical treatments that weaken their immune systems. This makes them more susceptible to infections.
- Contaminated Medical Equipment: Inadequate sterilization or disinfection of medical devices and equipment can introduce pathogens into a patient's body. This includes items like surgical instruments, catheters, and ventilators.
- Improper Hand Hygiene: Healthcare workers and visitors can carry harmful microorganisms on their hands. Failure to perform proper hand hygiene before and after patient contact can lead to the transmission of infections.
- Poor Infection Control Practices: Inadequate adherence to infection control protocols and practices within healthcare facilities can contribute to the spread of infections. This may include lapses in hand hygiene, improper disposal of infectious waste, and ineffective cleaning and disinfection of patient rooms and common areas.
- Antibiotic Resistance: The misuse or overuse of antibiotics in healthcare settings can lead to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These bacteria can cause severe and difficult-to-treat infections in patients.
- Contaminated Environment: Hospital environments can harbor infectious agents, especially in areas with high patient turnover. Contaminated surfaces and air can contribute to the transmission of infections.
- Inadequate Staffing and Training: Shortages of healthcare workers, especially in busy and understaffed units, can result in lapses in infection control practices. Proper training and staffing levels are crucial to maintaining a safe healthcare environment.
- Patient Transfers: Patients transferred between healthcare facilities can bring infections with them or acquire new ones during the transfer process.
- Visitors: While family and friends provide important emotional support to patients, they can also introduce infections if they do not follow proper hygiene measures when visiting.
- Underlying Patient Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or obesity, can increase a patient's susceptibility to infections.
- Invasive Medical Procedures: Procedures like surgery, insertion of catheters, and mechanical ventilation carry a risk of introducing infections if not performed under sterile conditions.
Fight Back Against Negligence
Harvey & Foote is a premier law firm in Albuquerque, known for its dedication to helping victims of medical malpractice and hospital-acquired infections.
Here's why you should choose us to represent your case:
- Experience: Our attorneys have years of experience handling complex medical malpractice cases, including hospital-acquired infections.
- Expertise: We have access to a network of medical experts who can provide invaluable insights into the medical aspects of your case.
- Personalized Attention: We treat every client with the utmost care and attention, ensuring that you receive the support and guidance you need during this challenging time.
- Proven Track Record: We have a history of successfully securing substantial settlements and verdicts for our clients.
In New Mexico and across the U.S., the overwhelming majority of personal injury lawsuits are settled through negotiations, thereby avoiding prolonged litigation. In most respects, this is a good thing. If you or someone in your family has suffered serious injuries, or a family member has died due to the negligence of another individual, a lengthy court battle can be emotionally taxing at a time when you are already coping with significant challenges.
It is important to realize, however, that the attorney you choose to represent you has a significant impact on the outcome of your case. Whether your case is resolved through negotiations or through litigation, you need a lawyer who has a thorough knowledge of the law and a proven ability to obtain full value for your injury or loss.
In order to negotiate from a position of strength, it is critical for your attorney to have a strong track record in cases that have gone to trial. The attorneys at The Harvey & Foote Law Firm, LLC in Albuquerque are highly regarded for their thorough preparation of cases and the ability to present a strong argument in court.
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You Deserve New Mexico Advocates At Harvey & Foote we are New Mexico-based attorneys who understand how scary and difficult this time can be. When you work with us, you can guarantee that you, your family, and your case are of the highest priority to us.
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