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What is a Hospital Acquired Infection?

A hospital acquired infection (HAI), also known as a nosocomial infection, is an infection that a patient acquires during the course of receiving medical treatment in a healthcare facility, such as a hospital or clinic. [1]

In hospitals, there is a prevalence of HAIs among hospitalized patients, with a significant number of infections and substantial healthcare costs in the United States annually. [2]

Have you or a loved one suffered from an infection that was caused by the negligence of a hospital? Contact our infection lawyers at Goldberg & Loren today for a free consultation. Let us give you the legal representation needed for the justice and compensation you deserve.

What is a Hospital Acquired Infection?

Common Forms of Hospital-Acquired Infection

Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) can manifest in various forms, affecting different parts of the body. Some common forms of HAIs include:

  • Surgical Site Infections (SSIs): These occur at the site of a surgical incision or in the area where surgery was performed. SSIs are one of the most common HAIs, and they can involve the skin, tissues, or organs.
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): These infections affect the urinary system and are often associated with the use of urinary catheters. Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) are a significant concern in healthcare settings.
  • Pneumonia: Hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) can develop in patients who are on mechanical ventilation or have difficulty swallowing, leading to the aspiration of bacteria into the lungs.
  • Bloodstream Infections (BSIs): These infections, also known as sepsis or bacteremia, occur when bacteria or other pathogens enter the bloodstream. Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) can occur as a result of using central venous catheters.
  • Gastrointestinal Infections: Infections of the gastrointestinal tract can result from contaminated food, water, or improper hygiene practices. Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infections are an example, often associated with antibiotic use.
  • Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia (VAP): This type of pneumonia specifically occurs in patients who are on mechanical ventilation. The prolonged use of ventilators increases the risk of respiratory infections.
  • Skin and Soft Tissue Infections: Infections affecting the skin and underlying tissues can result from surgical procedures, wounds, or medical interventions.
Common Forms of Hospital-Acquired Infection

Symptoms of Hospital-Acquired Infection

Symptoms of hospital-acquired infection can vary depending on the type of infection and the part of the body affected. Some common symptoms of infection include:

  • Body aches
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Rash
  • Runny nose/Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Vomiting

If you think you may have an infection, it is important to get medical care right away. Treatment for infection will vary depending on the type of infection and its severity. Some infections may be treated with antibiotic treatment, antiviral medical procedures, or medications. Others may require supportive care, such as rest and fluids.

Recoverable Damages Associated with Hospital-Acquired Infection

The recoverable damages associated with hospital-acquired infection can vary depending on the severity of the infection, the medical treatment required, and the impact the infection has had on the person’s life.

Some of the most common types of recoverable damages associated with common hospital-acquired infections include:

  • Medical Expenses: This includes the cost of all medical treatment related to the infection, such as doctor’s visits, hospital stays, surgery, and medication.
  • Lost Wages: If the infection prevents the person from working, they may be able to recover compensation for their lost wages.
  • Pain and Suffering: This includes compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by the infection.
  • Disability: If the infection results in a permanent disability, the person may be able to recover compensation for the loss of their earning capacity and other costs associated with their disability.
  • Wrongful Death: If the infection results in the death of the person, their family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit and recover compensation for their losses.

Other specific damages may be recoverable depending on the facts of the case. For example, if the negligence of a medical professional caused the infection, punitive damages may be a possibility.

Recoverable Damages Associated with Hospital-Acquired Infection

Why Do I Need a Hospital-Acquired Infection Lawyer?

If you have suffered from a hospital-acquired infection, hire our infection lawyers at Goldberg & Loren to protect your rights and seek compensation for your injuries. 

We will listen to your experience and research your case. Our personal injury lawyers will determine if the provider’s duty of care to you was breached.  If it was, we will seek out the liable party and pursue your case until we recover damages.  

You deserve safe care. If you have developed a hospital-acquired infection, book a free consultation today!


[1] Stubblefield, H. (2017, June 7). What Are Nosocomial Infections? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/hospital-acquired-nosocomial-infections

[2] Healthcare-Associated Infections Workgroup – Healthy People 2030 | health.gov. (n.d.). https://health.gov/healthypeople/about/workgroups/healthcare-associated-infections-workgroup

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