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Teaching Hospitals May Have Higher Rates of Central Line Infections, Sepsis and Bloodstream Infections

by The Beasley Firm  |  June 10, 2011  |  

Consumer Reports just issued a new study revealing that 67 of the scored teaching hospitals had more than twice the average rate of central-line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) than non-teaching hospitals. According to Consumer Reports, the teaching hospitals with the worst infection rate from central lines were St. Louis University Hospital, Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York and Regional Medical Center at Memphis.

Central line infections, intravenous infections or CLABSIs can lead to sepsis, or an overwhelming infection in the body, that could lead to organ failure and even death. Central lines are commonly used in patients in Intensive Care Units (ICU’s), Coronary Care Units (CCU’s), Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU’s) and in children’s hospitals with children that have chronic diseases that require central lines for total parental nutrition (TPN) or other treatments. It is estimated that the mortality or death rate from central line infections or CLABSIs is approximately 12% to 25%.

Experts indicate that preventing central line infections can be achieved if a simple checklist is followed. In fact, there are numerous hospitals that have a zero central line infection rate so it is not impossible to achieve. Doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other healthcare providers need to wash their hands, clean, prep or disinfect the patient’s skin prior to inserting the needle and during dressing changes, put on protective gear to cover their uniforms or clothes to prevent any contamination from bacteria, avoid placing an intravenous catheter in an area that could become soiled or contaminated such as the groin, and remove any intravenous catheter that is not in use or that has been in the patient for a period of time.

Unfortunately, many doctors, nurses or other healthcare providers fail to take these simple necessary steps to prevent contamination of a central line and many times it leads to an infection throughout the body or sepsis, osteomyelitis or a bone infection or infection in a child’s growth plate, endocarditis, heart failure, liver failure, kidney failure, multi-system organ failure or even death.

Our experienced medical and legal teams here at the nationally known Beasley medical malpractice law firm are well aware of the catastrophic injuries or death that can occur due to a central line infection or sepsis. In addition to our experienced attorneys, we have a full time staff that consists of doctors and nurses who have worked in hospitals caring for patients that have had central lines. Two of our nurses have been certified neonatal intensive care nurses and two of our nurses have been certified emergency room nurses. Not only do we have the 53 years of legal knowledge, we have 60 years of central line management medical knowledge.

If you or a loved has been injured due to a central line infection or sepsis, we can help you. Our experienced Philadelphia medical negligence attorneys have reviewed thousands of central line and intravenous infection cases with proven results. To date, we have had billions awarded on behalf of our injured clients. Please feel free to call us for a risk free, no fee, and confidential consultation.

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