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Was my infection the result of medical malpractice?

If you recently spent time in a Kentucky hospital, you probably expected to come home from your stay in better health than before your admission. Sure, you may have had some surgical pain or lifestyle variations to deal with, but your expectation of recovery was high, and you hoped to be back on your feet in time. What you did not expect was to feel your health decline rapidly as infection spread through your body.

In fact, there may be hours or days of your hospital stay that you do not remember because of delirium or medically induced unconsciousness. You are not surprised to hear how close you came to losing your life. Now, you are struggling with the lingering effects of the infection that ravaged your body, and you may be wondering how something as preventable as an infection could happen in a hospital.

How clean was your device?

The sad fact is that hospital acquired infections are one of the most common medical errors that occur in the United States. Nearly always preventable, infections are often the result of medical staff failing to follow protocol for sanitation and hygiene. Two of the most frequent types of infection are those that occur at the site of a surgical incision and those that are related to invasive devices.

Most commonly, device-related infections are associated with equipment that hospital staff has not appropriately cleaned and sanitized. It may also be that those who inserted or changed the device you used did not properly clean their hands or wear protective gloves during the process. For example, if you suffered from a urinary tract infection, you may wish to investigate the procedure your hospital uses for inserting catheters.

What is the protocol for sterilizing the operating room?

Surgical infections can occur if the conditions in the operating room are not sanitary. It will be important to learn your hospital's process for cleaning surgical instruments, washing hands and sanitizing the table on which you were lying.

Additionally, your care in recovery may have contributed to your surgical site infection. If a nurse or doctor failed to sanitize his or her hands before examining your wound, infection could have easily spread. This will be a critical element of your civil claim since it is often difficult to pinpoint where an infection originated. For example, if you did not suffer the symptoms of infection until after your discharge from the hospital, the hospital may claim it was your own negligence in wound care that caused the problem.

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