Central-line associated bloodstream infections harm thousands every year

Even though they are highly preventable, central-line associated blood stream infections harm thousands of patients on a yearly basis.

When patients in Pennsylvania go into the hospital, a central line, or central venous catheter, is placed into one of the larger veins in their neck, groin or chest to distribute fluids and other medications throughout their body. If medical professionals do not take certain precautions during the insertion process, bacteria and viruses can find their way into patient's body through the central line, causing a central-line associated bloodstream infection. This form of medical malpractice harms thousands of patients on a yearly basis. According to Forbes, over 10,000 adults and nearly 1,700 children suffered from CLABSIs in 2013.

How medical professionals can prevent these infections

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, medical professionals are required to abide by strict guidelines while assisting patients to ensure the central line remains sterile and one of these infections does not occur. To prevent CABSIs, healthcare providers must complete the following steps before inserting a central line into the body of a patient:

  • Apply an antiseptic to their hands
  • Perform a thorough hand washing and hygiene routine
  • Make sure that the skin prep agent applied to the patient's body has completely dried before inserting the catheter
  • Wear gloves, a cap, a mask, a gown and a large sterile drape during the application process

Once the central line has been inserted, medical professionals must wash their hands and apply an alcohol-based hand solution before touching it. Additionally, they must remove the line from the patient's body as soon as it is no longer needed.

Why do CLABSIs still occur?

Even though CLABSIs are highly preventable, they still occur in hospitals throughout the country on a regular basis. According to Forbes, this is because these infections cannot be easily transmitted from person to person and do not pose a risk to medical professionals if they were to accidentally come into contact with the patient's fluids. Due to this, medical professionals may engage in this form of neglectful treatment and falsely believe that they are doing a good job controlling infection amongst their patients.

Not only can these infections cause patients serious harm, but they can also be extremely expensive to treat. Forbes states that for most patients, it costs about $46,000 for the hospital to remedy the issue.

Patients who incur a CLABSI while staying at a hospital may suffer from serious physical harm and accumulate costly medical bills while they are in the process of recovering. If one of your medical providers failed to provide you with adequate care, consult with an attorney who can fight for your rights to fair and proper compensation.

Keywords: medical malpractice, injury, error, negligence