Hospital-acquired infections are a serious issue. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 25 hospital patients are diagnosed with an infection. Additionally, over 99,000 deaths yearly can be attributed to these healthcare-associated infections. So why don’t you hear about Iowa medical malpractice lawsuits being filed because of these infections?
Let’s talk first about what you need to do in order to prove your medical malpractice claim.
1. First, you must prove that the hospital’s infection prevention measures were “below the standard of care.”
The medical “standard of care” is a term that is used to measure the care a reasonably skilled medical professional would use in the same situation that led to the malpractice. In this case, if the majority of hospitals have infection prevention standards, and the hospital that hurt you did not have these standards – or the standards were not followed – then you may be able to prove the hospital did not meet the standard of care.
2. Next, you must prove that this breach in the standard of care directly caused your infection.
If the level of care was below the standard, but there is not enough proof that it directly caused your infection, then it is unlikely you will be able to win your case.
No Iowa medical malpractice attorney can say that malpractice occurred. Only an expert with the same qualifications and background as the healthcare professional who hurt you can testify that malpractice happened. The expert must agree to testify that both of the statements above were met in your case. If they cannot, it’s unlikely your medical malpractice case will move forward.
There are usually notes in your medical records that indicate you have an infection and that it is being treated. However, it’s rare that the records would explain how you got the infection. It is unlikely your medical records contain information that confirms negligence happened. Without proof in your medical records, an expert is unlikely to say that your infection was clearly caused by sub-standard medical care.
Infections occur all the time in hospital settings, even when the standard of care is met. This is an unfortunate but common issue for hospital patients.
As you can probably tell, proving your infection happened because of the hospital’s negligence is a nearly impossible task. Because of this, it is unlikely that an Iowa medical malpractice attorney would take your case.
There is one instance when you may be able to sue. If your infection is misdiagnosed or goes untreated and causes serious or permanent damage, you may be able to sue for malpractice – but the same standards above will apply. Again, your attorney will have to hire an expert to prove that a breach in the standard of care directly led to your infection getting worse and causing permanent harm.
If you have further questions about hospital-acquired infections and Iowa medical malpractice, call RSH Legal at 1-800-433-0283 and speak with one of our personal injury attorneys today.
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