Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ask a lawyer

An interesting question in class today - can you sue the hospital if you get a hospital acquired infection?

Just googling any version of this query brings up a lot of similar questions and links suggesting this is a pretty popular question.

Lets ask a lawyer:

Can I sue a hospital if I contract MRSA while in the hospital?

Answer (from an Ohio 'MRSA lawyer' !):

In order to sue a medical provider in Ohio and in many other states, you have to show that the hospital or medical facility had a duty to keep you safe, was negligent in that their treatment standard of care fell below that of an ordinary hospital in the area, and that as a result of their negligent and careless acts, you contracted MRSA or did not get treated quickly or effectively with negative consequences.

As any competent MRSA lawyer / attorney will tell you, if you want to sue a hospital or medical provider after you contract MRSA, you have to basically show they did something wrong that led to you contracting MRSA or not get treated correctly for MRSA.  As you can see these cases depend on the specific facts of each case. This breaks down to basically several theories of negligence? I will discuss four of them here.

Negligence / Failure to protect you from danger of catching MRSA
Delay in diagnosing MRSA
Delay in treatment of MRSA
Using wrong drugs to treat MRSA

So the key issue is negligence which can be difficult, but not impossible, to prove. Getting an infection and proving it came from the hospital is not sufficient. You need to prove the hospital was, in some way, negligent. The fact that some individuals have won big settlements has attracted a swarm of lawyers who are eager for cases. (I found this on one site: 'hospital infections are said to be the next asbestos'. The good news is that this may lead hospitals to improve their practices. The bad news is that it will further drive up medical costs.

No comments: