Failure to Diagnose an Infection in Atlanta, Georgia
The CDC reports that about one out of every 31 patients in a hospital in the United States will develop a hospital-associated infection. Other estimates place these numbers even higher. Hospital-acquired infections can result in severe and, in some cases, fatal injuries to a patient. Sometimes infections occur because of an invasive procedure such as surgery. Devices such as catheters and ventilators can also lead to infections.
In many cases, healthcare-associated infections are the result of mistakes made by medical practitioners. If your loved one suffered from an infection that occurred as a result of health care, including one sustained while in the hospital, home care, or a long-term care facility, contact an Atlanta, Georgia medical malpractice attorney to discuss your options for recovering compensation. Call the dedicated lawyers at The Moses Firm at 404-721-1050 to discuss your claim.
What Causes Healthcare-Related Infections
Healthcare-related infections are more common in environments with higher risk factors, especially in patients who are more susceptible to infections. For example, older patients, those who have underlining diseases, compromised immune systems, invasive medical devices, and who are taking certain medications are at a greater risk of contracting an infection. Another issue is the fact that antibiotics are often overused in healthcare settings. As a result, antibiotic-resistant organisms can develop, making it more difficult to treat a patient who suffers from an infection.
There are ways to prevent outbreaks of healthcare-associated infections. Facilities should follow specific prevention methods to ensure that they are not spreading infections among patients. Improper sanitation methods, a failure to properly train staff, oversights, and mistakes all can place patients at a greater risk of suffering from an infection.
Common Types of Healthcare-Associated Infections
The most likely way for a patient to contract a healthcare-associated infection is through an invasive surgical procedure or device. For instance, one of the leading causes of healthcare-associated infections is the use of a catheter. Catheter-associated urinary tract infections are extremely common in hospital settings. Central line-associated bloodstream infections are another common form of infection that occurs in medical settings. Surgical site infections also frequently occur, as do ventilator-associated events. Many different types of organisms can lead to these infections.
Why Would a Doctor Fail to Diagnose an Infection?
Certain indications must exist for doctors to diagnose infections. The indications include an elevated pulse, a high white blood cell count, fever, and an elevated breathing rate. Other common symptoms indicate signs of sepsis. Some may include body pain and abnormal behavior, including neurological abnormalities, vomiting, shaking, and chills. Sometimes, unfortunately, patients being treated at a medical facility will develop sepsis and die before that diagnosis is even made. When it comes to infections, an early diagnosis can reduce the risk of severe injury and harm. In many instances, the infection itself is the result of negligence in the medical facility. Still, even in cases where the initial infection occurred outside of the medical facility, a failure to diagnose can also be a form of negligence.
Some forms of malpractice involving a failure to diagnose an infection can occur because the doctor failed to consider exposure to an infection, such as contact with individuals suffering from some form of virus or contagion. Doctors may also fail to consider that a patient is at a high risk of infection due to their other related condition, fail to acknowledge the patient symptoms that indicate signs of infection, or fail to consider test results indicating signs of an infection.
If your doctor did not diagnose your condition promptly or misdiagnosed the condition, and that failure on the part of your medical providers led to further injury or harm, including the loss of a limb, organ failure, brain injury, or fatal injuries, you likely have a claim against that doctor or facility.
It is important to remember that medical malpractice claims are limited by a statute of limitations. If you wait too long to pursue your claim, courts will not consider even an otherwise valid complaint.
Recovering Damages for Failure to Diagnose an Infection
The results of a failure to diagnose an infection can be severe and life-threatening. The damages available to an individual who suffered an injury due to such a failure on the part of their medical providers will include both economic losses and non-economic harm. For instance, economic damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and future medical care and income losses, are available to an injured patient. Patients can also recover for their pain and suffering that resulted from the failure to properly diagnose the infection.
Call the Atlanta Medical Malpractice Attorneys at The Moses Firm Today
Medical malpractice claims are complicated and involve highly detailed information. To recover, you will need to have a medical expert who is willing to sign an affidavit indicating that your medical provider committed at least one act of negligence. At The Moses Firm, our attorneys are experienced in handling sophisticated medical malpractice cases. Call us today at 404-721-1050 to discuss your claim with one of our dedicated Atlanta, Georgia medical malpractice lawyers.