New York Patients' Lives Threatened By Central Line Bloodstream Infections

On behalf of Pat Crispi at Keogh Crispi PC

When patients in New York receive care at a hospital, a central line, or central catheter, is sometimes placed into a large vein in their groin, chest, arm or neck. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these catheters are used to draw blood or distribute fluids and medications throughout the body. However, if medical malpractice occurs and germs are able to travel through the central line, a central line-associated bloodstream infection may develop.

Simple practices can prevent CLABSIs

There are several steps medical professionals can take to prevent their patients from incurring one of these infections. The CDC states that before inserting the central line, those attending to a patient should:

  • Choose a vein that the catheter can successfully be placed into and where the risk of infection is small
  • Thoroughly sanitize their hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  • Put on a sterile gown, sterile gloves, mask and cap
  • Clean their patient's skin with an antiseptic cleaner

Once the catheter in the place, medical professionals should carefully handle any medications or fluids that will be given through the central line. They should also determine whether or not their patient still needs to have the catheter on a daily basis. As soon as the catheter is no longer needed, it should be removed to minimize the risk of infection.

A prevalent problem in New York hospitals

Although these preventive actions are relatively simple, many negligent doctors and other healthcare professionals fail to abide by them. As a result, CLABSIs have become deadlier than diseases like typhoid fever and malaria and kill an estimated one out of every five patients who contract one, states Forbes. Additionally, in 2013, nearly 1,700 children and over 10,000 adults were affected by one of these infections.

One of the main reasons why these infections still develop in healthcare facilities is because medical professionals cannot become sick or die if they come into contact with the bodily fluids of a patient who has a CLABSI. Due to this, it can be easy for those working in a hospital or another medical setting to feel like they are doing a good job of controlling infections.

Contact an attorney

Patients who contract a CLABSI while staying at a hospital in New York may require additional medical care. They may also experience effects that harm them emotionally and physically. If you incurred an infection while staying at a hospital, speak with an attorney in your area to find out what legal steps you should take next.