In many cases, yes, some form of negligence could cause hospital-acquired infections to occur in New Jersey facilities. As hospitals hold a large number of sick people, germs may spread from person-to-person, especially if the staff becomes complacent about standard sanitary procedures. However, there are other ways negligence might cause a patient to acquire an infection during a stay in the hospital.
In progress reports provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it appears that three main types of infections might arise due to hospital negligence.
Central line-associated bloodstream infections: Patients can acquire this form of infection when medical staff put tubes inside a vein. If the tube is not inserted correctly or not kept clean, germs may enter the patient’s body and cause dangerous blood infections.
Catheter-associated urinary tract infections: The same negligent conditions that cause CLABSIs can also cause this type of infection. Specifically, catheters must be inserted correctly and the insertion site and equipment must be kept clean to avoid infections. Additionally, if a catheter is left in place too long, a urinary tract infection can occur.
MRSA bacteremia-associated infections: A serious bloodstream infection, MRSA is usually spread by way of contaminated hands. Proper hand-washing and stringent use of latex gloves and other safety tools could slow or prevent the spread of this severe infection.
Most hospital personnel strive to heal and help all of their patients. However, mistakes can and do occur, often resulting in serious and even dangerous hospital-acquired infections. In order to prove you or someone you know acquired a hospital infection due to staff negligence, you will likely need the services of a Bergen County malpractice attorney.
Source: CDC.gov, “New Jersey Healthcare-Associated Infections Progress,” accessed June 09, 2015