When you visit a health care facility, the last thing you expect is to become even sicker. Unfortunately, this is what happens to many who visit a doctor or hospital and go on to develop a severe infection.
An infection may not seem serious, but according to some estimates, about 99,000 deaths a year involve hospital or health care-acquired infections (HAI). When it could have been prevented by following standard practices and protocols, it may qualify as grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
Every medical instrument, tool and device used in a health care setting must be cleaned and sterilized between each use. This is the first line of defense in preventing infection-causing pathogens (bacteria, viruses, etc.) from passing from patient to patient.
Hospitals and other medical facilities must follow established practices to manage and control infections. They could be held liable for patient illnesses, injuries and deaths if they fail to adhere to these practices.
Surgery (and post-op) conditions
Surgical site infections (SSI) plague many hospitals and surgery centers. They often arise from unsanitary conditions during a procedure, such as improperly cleaned instruments or poor handwashing practices.
SSIs can also develop while patients are recovering and receiving post-operative wound care. If you can show that unsanitary post-op conditions caused an infection, you may have a solid malpractice claim.
Most medical malpractice claims are extremely complex because victims must have evidence to prove their account of what happened. Having someone who can investigate the incident and gather evidence can increase your chances of success.
Consider learning more about your compensation rights under Iowa law if you or a loved one was seriously injured or sickened in a medical facility.