Hospital-Acquired Infections and Pediatric Patients
Hospital-Acquired Infections and Pediatric Patients: What You Should Know from a Georgia Medical Malpractice Attorney
Hospitals and other large healthcare facilities are intended to provide necessary medical treatment to patients to help them recover for their ailments. While hospitals must take every possible measure to keep the atmosphere clean, given the number of patients and the variety of diseases present, some patients acquire illnesses or diseases while at the hospital. Hospitals have a responsibility to follow laws, rules, regulations, and policies to meet certain standards to reduce the risk that patients, especially children, are at risk for suffering a serious hospital-acquired illness.
Children are Vulnerable Patients
All hospital patients, regardless of age, are at some risk of acquiring an illness while at the hospital. However, children are more vulnerable given how their immune systems may not be as strong, especially when dealing with infants and premature babies. Children and infants that receive intensive medical treatment are exposed to certain medical tools and devices that may increase the chance of acquiring a hospital illness.
For example, tubes and catheters used to treat infants and children may have bacteria, viruses, or fungi present that have the potential to enter the infant or child's bloodstream or body. In addition to suffering hospital-acquired illnesses related to the use of medical devices and tubes, many patients suffer from pneumonia or infections that may be transmitted intravenously, entering a patient's blood system.
The consequences of a hospital-acquired illness will vary from patient to patient, and from hospital to hospital. Some hospital-acquired illnesses may not be severe, while others can be considered very serious and require additional hospital stays in intensive care to reach a full recovery. As such, hospitals must take extra precautions to provide a clean and safe environment for all patients, both children and adults.
What is Considered a Hospital-Acquired Illness?
A hospital-acquired illness is a disease or condition that develops within 48 hours after a patient has been admitted to the hospital. Additionally, a patient may acquire a hospital-borne illness, be discharged, and then later develop the symptoms of the illness or disease outside of the hospital. As briefly stated above, there are various types of hospital-acquired illnesses, such as bacterial, viral and fungi infections that may enter through the blood or medical devices. All of these medical conditions can be equally serious and require immediate medical care to ensure patients are leaving the hospital as healthy as possible.
Given how extensive a hospital-acquired illness can be, and how hospitals have a responsibility to ensure a safe and clean environment, it may be a good idea for those who have suffered hospital-acquired illnesses to discuss their conditions and injuries with an attorney. While many hospitals do work diligently to ensure the facility is clean, there are other hospitals that may not heed to rules, regulations, laws, and procedures governing health and safety. Therefore, an attorney can help an injured individual determine whether a hospital met the standard of care and whether the hospital should be held responsible for a hospital-acquired illness suffered by a patient.
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Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
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Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (800) LAW-NEED
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333