If you or a loved one need to spend time in a hospital, you could acquire an infection during the time of your visit. The infection could cause problems such as unnecessary pain and suffering, missed work and increased medical bills.
While some infections originate from complicated factors, others come from some type of treatment error.
Some causes of hospital infections
A report from the National Library of Medicine describes hospital-acquired infections as those infections that a patient picks up during a hospital stay. In some cases, the infection begins incubating before admission into the hospital setting.
Infections can arise from many causes, many of them related to the actions of medical professionals. Some common types and sources of infections in the hospital include the following:
- Catheter-associated urinary tract infections
- Central-line associated bloodstream infections
- Ventilator-associated pneumonia
- Clostridium difficile infections
- Surgical site infections
If you do come down with a hospital-acquired illness, you could have several symptoms. These might include shortness of breath, fever, cough, abdominal tenderness, rebound pain, altered mental status and other symptoms.
Typical risk factors for infections
Several factors make it more likely a patient will come down with an infection while in the hospital. Longer hospital stays and time spent in an intensive care unit correspond with a higher incidence of infections. Several other risk factors also play a role:
- Advanced age of the patient
- Ventilator support
- Invasive surgical procedures
While some hospital-acquired infections do not arise from medical error, others come from inadequate treatment. If you come down with an infection in the hospital, you should pursue all of your patient and legal rights.