Hospitals are supposed to be safe, but sometimes they pose dangers of their own. The possibility that a hospital patient may die due to an infection he or she developed at a medical facility is well known. These types of infections are called healthcare-associated infections (sometimes hospital-acquired infections). Hospitals should be prepared to:
- Identify the various types of infections patients might obtain while receiving any type of care including ER, surgical, or rehabilitative care.
- Identify the various causes of infections.
- Take steps to prevent or minimize the likelihood of infections.
- Provide responsive care to treat and manage the infections.
- Inform patients of the possibility of known types of infections.
How do Mississippi’s hospitals rank for healthcare-associated infections?
HAIs are so common – and so dangerous – that the Leapfrog Group assesses them as part of the Hospital Safety Grade. The Safety Grade looks at the five most commonly-occurring HAIs:
- Infection in the blood (mostly associated with central lines)
- Urinary tract infections
- Surgical site infections
It analyzes how well a hospital prevents and responds to these infections, and ranks the facility as Below Average, Average, and Above Average.
Sadly, even our best local hospitals rarely do well in this category. Here how the hospitals closest to us fare:
- Baptist Memorial Hospital, in Oxford. Overall grade of A; ranked below average for 3/5 categories.
- Mississippi Baptist Medical Center, in Jackson. Overall grade of B; ranked below average for 3/5 categories.
- Northwest Mississippi Medical Center, in Clarksdale. Overall grade of B; unranked in 4 categories, and below average in the remaining category.
- University Hospitals and Health System, UM Medical Center, in Jackson. Overall grade of C; ranked below average in 3.5 categories.
The worst grade went to Merit Health Central, in Jackson, with an overall grade of D and a ranking of below average in three out of the four categories (surgical infection data were unavailable). However, St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital earned an A grade, and scored above average in 4/5 categories… so, perhaps just avoid that one if you are prone to UTIs.
You can access the latest information about HAIs, presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, here.
Making a claim for malpractice
If you or your loved one develops an HAI that is undetected and/or left untreated, you may be entitled to damages. In order to file a successful medical malpractice claim, we must first prove that your relationship with the doctor existed, and that the doctor (or nurse, or specialist, or whomever you worked with) was negligent in his or her duties. If this negligence led to you developing an infection like MRSA – a particularly dangerous infection that does not respond to most antibiotics – and you sustained damages as a result, the negligent parties should be held accountable for that.
If a loved one dies due to medical malpractice or if you suffer due to medical error, the respected lawyers at Merkel & Cocke, PA are ready to help you get justice. We work with experienced medical professionals who understand when hospitals and doctors failed to meet their duty of care. Our Mississippi lawyers represent clients across the entire Gulf Coast region. We have law offices in Clarksdale, Oxford, and Jackson. To speak with a caring experienced lawyer, please call us at 662.799.1633 or complete our contact form.