Hospital-acquired infection is an infection caught while someone is hospitalised. The medical term for a hospital-acquired infection is nosocomial. Most nosocomial infections are due to bacteria. Since antibiotics are frequently used within hospitals, the types of bacteria and their resistance to antibiotics is different than bacteria outside of the hospital. Nosocomial infections can be extremely serious and difficult to treat.
Within hours after admission, a patient’s flora begins to acquire characteristics of the surrounding bacterial pool. Most infections that become clinically evident after 48 hours of hospitalisation are considered hospital acquired. Infections that occur after the patient is discharged from the hospital can be considered healthcare-associated if the organisms were acquired during the hospital stay.
Hospital acquired infections can be caused by many factors. For example, when a patient’s bed and surrounding area have not been vacant long enough for proper cleaning, the risk of contracting such an infection is dramatically increased. In addition, a lengthy stay in a healthcare setting makes patients more vulnerable to infection and large wards with a stream of emergency admittances make it difficult for wards to be thoroughly cleaned. Poor hygienic procedures (failure to thoroughly wash hands, failure to properly sterilise equipment, failure to wear gloves when necessary, and failure to properly clean towels and bed sheets etc.) can result in a negligently acquired infection.
Hospital Acquired Infections
There is a vast number of infections that can be acquired in a hospital setting. However, the most common are:
- Surgical-site infection
- Urinary Tract Infection
At P.A.Duffy & Co Solicitors, our specialist team has many years of experience in pursuing these types of claims and have the knowledge and expertise to ensure that you receive the best support and compensation possible. If you have suffered injury and loss by virtue of a hospital acquired infection, please contact us by phone on 028 8772 2102 for free advice about making a claim or complete our online enquiry form.