Are St. Louis Hospitals Safe from Deadly Patient Infections?

Thumbnail image for sterile instruments.jpgFear of hospitals is not uncommon, and perhaps with good reason. More than 75,000 people in the United States die each year from an infection they acquire during a hospital stay, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About one out of every 25 hospital patient acquires some type of infection.

So, what causes hospital infections, and how safe are St. Louis hospitals from deadly patients’ infections?

There are many root causes of hospital-acquired infections. One is as basic as bad hygiene. When healthcare givers fail to properly wash their hands, they put their patients at risk.

Common Hospital-Acquired Infections

Improper cleaning and maintenance of medical equipment can also result in deadly hospital infections. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the most common types of hospital-acquired infections include:

• Bloodstream infections associated with the use of a central IV line

• Urinary tract infections associated with the use of a catheter

Another purported cause of serious patient infections during hospital stays is the inappropriate use of antibiotics. Over-use of antibiotics has led to “superbugs” that have become immune to the medication over time. Two very dangerous infections that can result from antibiotics overuse are “C.difficile” and “MRSA.”

St. Louis Hospitals and Patient Infections

Consumer Reports recently published ratings for hospitals throughout the United States as to how well they protect against patient infections. Three out of the 10 largest hospitals in the St. Louis area received the second lowest rating possible for their patient infection rates.

People go to hospitals to get better. But when avoidable mistakes are made by doctors, nurses and other hospital staff, patients can unfortunately suffer great harm. If you had a family member die due to a hospital’s mistake or if you were a victim of a serious medical error, an attorney who represents patients in medical malpractice cases can pursue your legal rights to just compensation for your losses and suffering.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.