What is hospital-acquired pneumonia?

| May 12, 2016 | Medical Malpractice |

Hospitals are filled with sick people, bacteria and germs. This means that a hospital that isn’t cleaned or maintained properly can cause additional ailments in Georgian patients such as yourself, and sometimes these issues can be quite severe.

One such potential problem is called hospital-acquired pneumonia, or HAP for short. HAP is a bacterial infection that patients get while they are staying in a hospital, and is considered to be more severe than regular pneumonia. The U.S. National Library of Medicine states that HAP is rampant in hospitals for many reasons. For one, the bacteria in hospitals tend to be stronger and more resistant to change than other types of bacteria, making the illnesses they bring harder to combat and more deadly. Additionally, patients already have a lowered immunity. It has been stated that the leading cause of death in intensive care units is HAP.

Hospital stays can expect to be lengthened by one or two weeks if you catch HAP. You are generally considered more at risk if you have a weak immune system, a chronic lung disease, are older, or have had a major surgery such as chest surgery. Your chances may also rise if you have abused alcohol before, or if you accidentally breathe in food or saliva due to swallowing problems or bouts of semi-consciousness or unconsciousness.

The combination of your increased vulnerability and the increased strength of the bacteria that causes HAP can wreak havoc. However, sometimes steps can be taken to reduce the risks of HAP, and if these steps are ignored, you may have a medical malpractice case on your hands.

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