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California hospitals not always successful preventing infections

Hospitals are supposed to be safe places, places of healing. They are not supposed to make patients sicker or to give them infections. Unfortunately, however, patients sometimes contract infections in hospitals, and sometimes these hospital-associated infections may be due to hospital negligence.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that California has lower rates than the national average for many of the primary healthcare-associated infections. Nonetheless, these lower rates may belie the seriousness of the problem, as plenty of patients still contract hospital-associated infections. In recent years, California has shown a significant increase in catheter-associated urinary tract infections, as well as surgical site infections related to colon surgery. Surgical site infections commonly arise when germs are able to enter the area where a surgery was performed. This area may include the skin only, or it could also include the patient's organs or in tissues under the skin.

California's rate of C. Difficile Infection is actually five percent higher than the national baseline. These infections might arise after a patient takes antibiotics, which can destroy good bacteria along with the bad. Subsequently, a person can get sick from Clostridium difficile, a bacteria that is commonly spread in healthcare facilities and may cause deadly diarrhea.

Failure by hospital staff to properly care for a patient can lead to these serious infections. If not properly treated, such an infection could result in a patient requiring long-term care or suffering other serious health consequences. If you or a loved one has suffered from a healthcare-associated infection in a California hospital, you may wish to seek legal counsel to discuss potential options for financial recovery.

Source: CDC, "Health Associated Infections Progress: California," accessed Sept. 6, 2015

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