According to a 2008 Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology article, "Improving Patient Safety Through Infection Control: A New Health Care Imperative," each year 100,000 patients die from an infection which was acquired after getting care at a hospital for another condition or disease. Such hospital infections are expensive and can cost up to $33 billion annually to treat.
Central line associated bloodstream infections and catheter related bloodstream infections are two common kinds of hospital infections which have clearly identifiable and simple steps for prevention. Read more about prevention of central venous catheter bloodstream infections.
A central line is also known as a central venous catheter. Doctors use central lines or catheters to administer fluids, blood products, medications, and food. A small tube is inserted in the body. The tip of the tube usually ends near the heart or in a large blood vessel. However, the tubes can introduce bacteria into the system. The tubes or lines are usually placed close to the heart and are often used for days at a time, and therefore pose a serious risk for developing a life threatening blood infection. It is generally accepted that when a patient develops a bloodstream infection within 48 hours after having a central line placed, the central line was the cause of the infection.
Central line bloodstream infections are often fatal. Of the approximately 250,000 central line infections which occur in the U.S. each year, up to 25% or 60,000 will result in death. This is especially true due to increasing bacterial resistance to antibiotics.
Hospital infection prevention is key. The risk of infections can be reduced if not eliminated by adopting best practices, including a checklist when placing a central line. However, many hospitals do not always implement or follow recommended practices.
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Patients who have suffered an infection may be eligible for financial compensation for medical treatment, lost wages and pain and suffering. If you or a loved one would like to discuss a potential medical malpractice case in New Jersey involving an infection, contact our office for a free, no obligation consultation. 877.944.8396
Our lawyers handle medical malpractice cases against New Jersey hospitals, doctors, surgeons, laboratories and more. Our lawyers have the expertise and resources of a large 200 lawyer firm to help prosecute these cases.
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