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Fatal Hospital Infections Serious Problem in New York, Nationwide

Hospitals should be places sick people go to get healthy. Unfortunately, many people sustain serious or life-threatening infections in hospitals often due to mistakes made by doctors, nurses and other medical professionals.

Consumer Reports recently analyzed hospitals nationwide and discovered a disturbing trend among many hospitals. Antibiotics normally used to treat infections are actually part of the problem and often make mild infections worse, according to the Consumer Reports article.

Specifically, due to widespread and often inappropriate use of antibiotics by many hospitals, certain types of harmful bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics. As a result, some bacteria turn into “superbugs” or CRE, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to USA Today.

How dangerous are hospital infections?

Hospital infections are a serious epidemic nationwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 648,000 people develop infections while patients in hospitals.

Of the people who develop a hospital infection, 75,000 people die every year due to hospital infections, the CDC reports. To put that number in perspective, that’s more than twice the number of people who die every year in auto accidents nationwide.

As for New York State, hospital infections also remain a serious problem. In 2013, a total of 28,302 people developed an infection while a patient in a New York hospital, according to data compiled by the New York State Department of Health.

What are common hospital infections?

Two of the most common hospital infections include MRSA and C. diff infections. “Hospitals can be hot spots for infections and can sometimes amplify spread,” said Tom Frieden, M.D., director of the CDC, according to the Consumer Reports article. “Patients with serious infections are near sick and vulnerable patients-all cared for by the same health care workers sometimes using shared equipment.”

MRSA stands for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. MRSA infections often develop due to bacteria resistant to antibiotics used to treat ordinary staph infections, according to the Mayo Clinic. MRSA infects more than 60,000 people each year and kills more 8,000 annually, according to Consumer Reports.

C. diff refers to Clostridium difficile or C. difficile, a form of bacteria that often causes severe diarrhea or life-threatening inflammation of the colon often due to improper use of antibiotics, according to the Mayo Clinic. C. diff infections affect more than 290,000 people each year and result in more than 27,000 fatalities, according to Consumer Reports.

What can I do to prevent getting a hospital infection?

Don’t simply take a doctor’s or nurse’s word when they prescribe an antibiotic. Be your own best advocate. Ask them questions. Find out more information about such drugs and your medical condition before agreeing to take such drugs.

In addition, find out exactly why you’re being prescribed this drug and exactly what drug it is, how long you should take this antibiotic and if there any severe, long-term side effects often associated with taking such powerful antibiotics.

“Hospitals need to stop infecting their patients,” said Dr. Doris Peter, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center, according to the Consumer Reports article. “Until they do, patients need to be on high alert whenever they enter a hospital, even as visitors.”

Jonathan C. Reiter's

New York City Personal Injury Lawyer / Aviation Accident Attorney

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Manhattan Medical Malpractice Info Center

Lenox Hill Hospital

A 652-bed teaching hospital, Lenox Hill Hospital is located in the Lenox Hill neighborhood at 100 E. 77th Street. This 652-bed on the Upper East Side of Manhattan serves mostly patients from Manhattan, but other patients are admitted from Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Long Island and throughout the tri-state region. Anyone who suspects negligence after treatment should speak with an experienced attorney immediately.

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Manhattan Medical Malpractice Info Center

Bellevue Hospital Center

Bellevue Hospital Center at 462 1st Avenue has 828 beds and experiences 115,797 emergency room visits each year. Bellevue had a higher rate of infections compared to hospitals in other states, according to a New York State Department of Health Report in 2009. Anyone who is injured by the negligence of a doctor or nurse at this Manhattan hospital, the oldest in the United States, will need an experienced attorney with experience and resources needed to take aggressive action.

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Manhattan Medical Malpractice Info Center

New York Presbyterian-Lower Manhattan Hospital

Lower Manhattan Hospital at 170 William Street in New York is one of the main campuses of New York-Presbyterian Hospital. This hospital, with 170 beds, provides a range of inpatient and outpatient services. According to an article in the New York Post, New York-Presbyterian scored 18 percent below average for patient safety in a ranking of hospitals by Consumer Reports magazine. Patients who suspect medical malpractice should not hesitate to arrange a consultation with a New York City attorney who can investigate and hold the negligent medical care provider accountable.

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Manhattan Medical Malpractice Info Center

Mount Sinai Beth Israel

The main hospital known as the Petrie Division is located at First Avenue and 16th Street. But Mount Sinai Beth Israel has other campuses, including Phillips Ambulatory Care Center at Union Square. Mount Sinai Beth Israel is a teaching hospital with 1,368 beds. If you suffered any form of negligence while being treated at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, take action immediately to protect your rights.

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Manhattan Medical Malpractice Info Center

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center at 1275 York Avenue in Manhattan provides cancer care to patients. The hospital is composed of two institutions: Memorial Hospital for Cancer and Allied Diseases, which provides patient care, and the Sloan Kettering Institute, which is focused on research. Patients who suspect a failure to diagnose cancer or some other type of hospital negligence can contact a lawyer to discuss options.

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Manhattan Medical Malpractice Info Center

Mount Sinai Hospital

Mount Sinai Hospital at One Gustave L. Levy Place is a 1,048-bed facility founded in 1852. It is one of the oldest and largest teaching hospitals in the country. Consumer Reports rated Mount Sinai 31 percent below average for patient safety. If you or a loved one was a victim of medical malpractice at any Manhattan hospital, don’t wait to contact an attorney to find out if you have a case. You may be entitled to compensation.

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Manhattan Medical Malpractice Info Center

St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center

St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center at 1111 Amsterdam Avenue was ranked No. 14 out of the 30 worst hospitals for patient safety, as identified by Consumer Reports. The magazine examined four key measures of patient safety: hospital-acquired infections, readmissions and the quality of communication between staff and patients in regard to medications and discharge planning.

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Manhattan Medical Malpractice Info Center

New York-Presbyterian/ Columbia University Medical Center

New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center at 630 West 168th Street was described by a lawmaker as having “horrendous conditions.” Emergency room wait times last an average of 85 minutes, which rank among New York’s 10 worst. Any patient who was treated at the 995-bed hospital in Washington Heights and suspects negligence should not hesitate to speak with an attorney for a free consultation.

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Manhattan Medical Malpractice Info Center

Harlem Hospital Center

Harlem Hospital Center at 506 Malcolm X Blvd. received a 20 on a 1-to-100 scale gauging patient safety by Consumer Reports. The hospital received the second worst score in the nation, according to a New York Post report. Harlem Hospital told Consumer Reports it needs to improve in some areas, according to the Post. The hospital is a general medical and surgical hospital with 272 beds.