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Can you sue a hospital for an infection?

Residents of Connecticut and every state in the U.S. have likely heard someone say, “the hospital is no place for sick people,” or “I got sick at the hospital.” The sentiments were probably delivered tongue-in-cheek, good for a snicker or two, but there are times when a comment like one of these is all too appropriate.

The flu epidemic has sent many residents to the hospital already. Unfortunately, those who are most at risk from the flu—the very young, very old and those with compromised immune systems—are also at risk of further, deadly infections in a health-care surrounding, according to Reuters.

Infections, some acquired in hospitals, are the cause of at least 23 thousand people every year. That number is based on a study by the Centers for Disease Control, which also admits the number is guesswork, based on under-reported cases and a lack of consistency in reporting causes of death.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a staph bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics. Acquired in a health-care facility, it can cause serious health issues, including pneumonia, surgical site infections and more. If these MRSA-caused infections are not promptly treated, the patient may develop sepsis and die.

FindLaw states that, in some circumstances, hospitals and other health-care facilities may be held responsible if any of its employees are negligent in caring for such patients. Not properly sterilizing surgical equipment, improper wound care and other errors may support the charge of negligence and pave the way for a lawsuit.

Proving negligence may pose problems, as it is difficult to track an infection, particularly when they are unreported or cause of death is determined to be “complications” from the flu, surgery or another ailment. For those who contract an MRSA infection in a health-care setting and wish to sue for damages, contact a skilled personal injury attorney.

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