Coronavirus the Latest Infection to Hit Hospitals

Chicago Medical Malpractice Attorneys

When patients go to hospitals, they expect to be in a safe and sterile environment, but unfortunately that is not always the case. Many health care workers do their best to prevent the spread of infections, but sometimes they are not adequately trained, instructed or managed with regard to proper prevention procedures.

According to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control, as many as 100,000 deaths or more per year are caused by infections picked up in hospitals. Furthermore, as many as 50,000 deaths a year may be caused by sepsis and pneumonia alone, according to studies reported in the Wall Street Journal.

Now, the World Health Organization (the “WHO”) is warning hospitals about a new and potentially deadly infection known as a Coronavirus.

This virus is reportedly in the same class as the SARS virus (commonly known as “bird flu”) which quickly killed hundreds of people in 2003 before it was isolated and contained in Asia.

Thus far, the Coronavirus has killed more than 20 people, and it presents as a respiratory infection that is hard to distinguish from other common infections. It also progresses rapidly, and can result in serious complications.

The first cases of this virus were noticed at a health care facility in Saudi Arabia, and other hospital workers have now been affected after coming in contact with Coronavirus patients.

Patients expect health care facilities to take every necessary precaution to keep their environments safe, but unfortunately, hospitals are always potential petri dishes full of germs carried in by patients.

The WHO is telling health care facilities to take all necessary steps in dealing with patients to detect, isolate and limit the spread of Coronavirus. Hopefully, hospitals and other health care centers will institute all the appropriate protections, including:

  • Diagnostic steps for early detection;
  • Isolation and quarantine where necessary;
  • Wearing of masks, gloves or other properly indicated paraphernalia;
  • Scrubbing and sterilizing of equipment, surfaces and items that may come in contact with patients; and
  • Controlling access to areas where acutely infected patients are housed.

If a patient contracts an infection in part because a health care facility has failed to follow proper precautions, then one or more responsible health care providers may be legally responsible for any resulting damages.

So, if you or a loved one has suffered an acute infection that may be related to a health provider’s failure to follow indicated precautions, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (312) 477-2500 to speak with a qualified personal injury attorney who can help you determine if and how you might have been harmed, and what you can do about it. You can also check out our Website for more information about our law firm, Cogan & Power, P.C.