3 common hospital-acquired infections

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2023 | Medical malpractice

In the healthcare industry, hospital-acquired infections pose a unique risk. Patients enter medical facilities in search of healing and treatment. Unfortunately, some may find themselves battling additional infections.

Any infection acquired in the hospital can complicate recovery. Patients should understand the most common sources.

1. Central line-associated bloodstream infections

When bacteria enter the bloodstream through a central line, the resulting infection is serious. In some cases, patients develop sepsis. The central line is a catheter placed in a large vein for a variety of treatment and testing protocols. Infections from a central line often result from poor hygiene and improper sterilization during insertion or maintenance.

2. Catheter-associated urinary tract infections

Urinary catheters are necessary in many medical situations. Despite that, they also create a potential risk of infection. Improper insertion techniques or leaving the catheter in place for too long increases those risks. Patients may experience discomfort, increased healthcare costs and prolonged hospital stays as a result.

3. Surgical site infection

Surgical patients risk infection without proper sterilization and wound-care precautions. Infections at the surgical site can lead to superficial issues and slower healing. Some patients develop a deep infection that affects the body’s organs and tissue. Sterile environments in the operating room and proper pre and postoperative care mitigate these risks, but cutting corners in any stage of care can leave a patient vulnerable.

The Georgia Department of Public Health reports that 1 in 25 hospital patients in the state contract at least one hospital-acquired infection. Every patient should understand the risks, mitigation measures and their rights when malpractice leads to infections and complications.