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Study Reveals Patients with Bloodstream Infections Are at Risk for Inappropriate Treatment

A large number of patients across the nation become seriously ill or die from bloodstream infections every year. For many patients, getting appropriate medical treatment is crucial for recovery.

According to a study released by Duke University and published in a leading medical journal called PlosOnean estimated 33 percent of hospital patients in community hospitals and specialized care hospitals receive inappropriate treatment for bloodstream infections. The study evaluated 1,470 patients from 2003 through 2006 in nine community hospitals in the southeastern United States. Currently, the Duke study is the most comprehensive study of bloodstream infections in hospital settings.

The patients studied fell into three main categories:

  • Patients with infections resulting from prior hospitalization or living in long-term care facilities
  • Patients with infections contracted outside of medical environments
  • Patients with infections contracted after hospital admission for several days

The study indicates that hospitals need to improve treatment of blood infections. Patients most at risk for improper treatment are those who were in hospitals or nursing homes during the past year. Other at-risk patients had impaired functions or were subjected to multi-drug resistant bacteria. The pathogen S. aureus was the most common cause for infection.

When doctors focus on health records and flag the categories of patients who are most at risk, they can help correct the lack of proper treatment, which in most cases occurs through use of an ineffective antibiotic.

If you or a loved one suffered from a blood infection and you suspect medical malpractice due to inappropriate treatment, seek legal counsel. Indiana medical malpractice attorneys can investigate and evaluate your case. A law firm with experience and success handling medical malpractice can often recover compensation to offset high medical costs, lost income and other damages.