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How do people get hospital-acquired infections?

Many people owe their lives to hospitals and their dedicated employees. Although it is rare that a person becomes sicker in a professional care setting, it can occasionally happen due to hospital-acquired infections. Clinics and clinicians may be legally responsible for an illness if it could have been prevented by their work.

What are the risk factors for hospital-acquired infections?

Patients are open to possible exposure the longer they are staying in a potentially contaminated area. The type and severity of a patient's condition also matter as people with suppressed or compromised immune systems are less able to fight infection.

How does a hospital increase risks to patients?

Many of the facilities in hospitals and clinics can breed bacteria in ventilation systems, on counter or bed surfaces and in the water systems. Medical devices and reusable medical equipment may carry the cause of infections if they are not properly sterilized.

Are there other factors that connect infections with liability?

The class of risks related to other people, called 'iatrogenic' in the hospital care setting, include the hygienic habits of clinical staff such as hand-washing and use of medical equipment. Rushed or inexperienced medical personnel may have a role in passing on an infection, and these modes may be demonstrated in a lawsuit or settlement.

Do I need a lawyer to help prove liability?

Lawsuits are generally more likely to succeed when plaintiffs are represented by a qualified lawyer. An attorney can help review a patient's issues with hospital-acquired infections and help track the source back to a person or institution who may be liable for a patient's resultant health issues.

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ALTON —Like any successful trial lawyer, John Hopkins knows the importance of preparation. But he usually doesn’t write out the questions he plans to ask witnesses in depositions or in court.

View Article “I like to react to what the witness is saying—not only what they’re saying, but how they’re saying it,” Hopkins says.

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