Central line catheters are used in hospital intensive care units all over Memphis to provide treatment for critically-ill patients. Unlike typical intravenous catheters that are inserted into the wrist or hand to deliver fluids and medication to patients, central line catheters are placed in larger vessels that lead directly to the heart. Using larger lines like these means that medication, blood, and nutrition are delivered in high doses rapidly to patients in need.
The Frightening Reality of Central-Line Bloodstream Infections
Although hospital officials claim that they follow all of the necessary precautions to prevent deadly infections, many patients still develop—and die from—serious infections each year. In fact, according to data analysis conducted by Consumer Reports, 1.7 million bloodstream infections affect patients in U.S. hospitals annually. These infections are introduced through central-line catheters, and are often caused by the “superbugs” that are notoriously damaging and extremely difficult to treat. These types of infections account for 15 percent of all hospital infections and are responsible for at least 30 percent of the 99,000 hospital infection deaths that occur yearly.
Why You Are At Risk
Central-line catheters are threaded into large veins that lead to the heart, and often stay in place for weeks, or even months. Each time a doctor, nurse, or medical technician touches the line or the skin around it, or if the catheter becomes dislodged, bacteria is potentially introduced. The benefit of central-line catheters is their ability to deliver fluid and medicine quickly through the body. Unfortunately, they can also deliver bacteria quickly and efficiently, which is the reason infections like these can kill patients so fast. Central-line bloodstream infection victims often develop sepsis, which is an auto-immune response to infection which can damage multiple organ systems causing them to fail. Sepsis kills about half of all its victims.
Hospitals Are to Blame for the Deadly Infections
Medical professionals who fail to wash with soap or hand sanitizer before working on patients, and who neglect to use sterile equipment, can cause the deadly infections. If you or someone you know suffered from this type of infection, you may be able to hold those responsible accountable for their negligent actions.
The Holton Law Firm wants to help you receive the compensation you may be entitled to. Contact us by calling 888-443-4387 to speak with a legal professional about your situation.