Health care facilities - whether hospitals, nursing homes, or outpatient facilities - can be dangerous places for the acquisition of infections. The most common type of nosocomial infections are surgical wound infections, respiratory infections, genitourinary infections, as well as gastrointestinal infections.
These infections are often caused by breaches of infection control practices and procedures, unclean and non-sterile environmental surfaces, and/or ill employees. We have the experience to understand and ascertain the facts behind these hospital acquired nosocomial infections.
With nearly 100 million procedures performed at hospitals each year, litigation arising from nosocomial infections is increasing nationwide. These infections can be acquired in the hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation centers, as well as extended care facilities. Immunocompromised patients, the elderly and young children are usually more susceptible than others. These infections are transmitted through direct contact from the hospital staff, inadequately sterilized instruments, aerosol droplets from other ill patients or even the food or water provided at hospitals. EHA provides litigation expertise in the areas of infections contracted in the healthcare environment.
According to the CDC, the most common pathogens that cause nosocomial infections are Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and E. coli. Some of the common nosocomial infections are urinary tract infections, respiratory pneumonia, surgical site wound infections, bacteremia, gastrointestinal and skin infections.
Nosocomial infections are not just limited to bacteria; certain fungi such as Candida albicans and aspergillus, as well as, viruses such as Respiratory Syncytial Virus and influenza have also been implicated in a number of hospital acquired infections.
Nosocomial infections are often caused by breaches of infection control practices and procedures, unclean and non-sterile environmental surfaces, and/or ill hospital staff. Prevention of nosocomial infections includes proper personal hygiene and hand washing on the part of the hospital staff, complete sterilization of medical equipment, and providing a clean, sanitary environment in the health care facilities.