Hospital Infections: the new Med Mal?

Medical malpractice claims related to hospital infections are on the increase according to a November 20 online article at Lawyers USA by staff writer Sylvia Hsieh. The article cites Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data estimating that over two million hospital-acquired infections occur annually, resulting in 90,000 fatalities. In long-term care facilities the CDC estimates an additional 1.5 million health-care associated infections occur annually. The article notes that 26 states have passed laws that require reporting of hospital-acquired infections. Meanwhile, the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths (RID) says that hospital infections add an estimated $30.5 billion to the nation’s hospital costs each year. A recent Aon analysis noted that hospital-acquired conditions (sometimes referred to as “never events†) – including hospital-acquired infections, hospital-acquired injuries, objects left in surgery and pressure ulcers account for one out of every six med mal liability claims. Aon’s 2008 Hospital Professional Liability and Physician Liability Benchmark Analysis also pointed to a potential rise in the frequency of related hospital professional liability claims. Check out I.I.I. background information on medical malpractice.

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