You probably do not associate hospitals with infection risks, but hospital-acquired infections are so common that they have an acronym — HAIs. They generally arise in hospitals that may not be as clean as they should be and typically fall into several categories:
- Surgical site infections
- Catheter-associated infections
- Clostridioides difficile infections
- Central line bloodstream infections
- Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae infections
Over the decades, healthcare facilities across the nation have struggled to reduce HAIs, and it looks like New York is making progress in this area.
What improved and what worsened?
The latest report came out in 2021, addressing New York state HAIs that arose in 2019. Overall, the rates of these infections improved dramatically with only a few exceptions.
Surgical site infections after colon, hip, and coronary artery procedures dropped by as much as 28%. Unfortunately, surgical site infection rates following abdominal hysterectomies worsened by 8%.
The number of hospital infections from urinary and central venous catheters dropped by 25% and 27%, respectively.
The volume of infections due to the spread or contamination of Clostridioides difficile bacteria fell by a whopping 45% in state hospital facilities. Patients taking antibiotics are vulnerable to infection because these medicines destroy both bad and good bacteria.
The rate of hospital infections involving antibiotic-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (a bacteria in the intestines) improved by as much as 42%. Enterobacteriaceae is dangerous and commonly spreads to areas of the body through trauma or surgery.
Although some of these medical names and terms are hard to understand, your main takeaway is that most HAIs are a form of medical malpractice.
Learning more about medical malpractice laws can help determine if you have grounds to file a claim against the New York hospital if you or a loved one suffered harm, such as an HAI.