Hospital Infection Readmissions Are Very Serious

Hospitals, Infections

One of the most common causes of hospital medical malpractice is a hospital readmission. These are also one of the most common causes of extra and unnecessary expenses for medical care which increases the cost of health care significantly. The reason being that a hospital admission costs the hospital all of the same resources as the first admission, but the same services and path of services must be done again.

This also is expensive because many times hospital readmissions result in additional healthcare costs due to medical malpractice. In fact, hospital readmissions are more likely to lead to medical malpractice then other types of hospital admissions or treatment.

One common example is an infection. When a patient has an infection which is not treated and is then discharged, it can result in a hospital readmission. This can usually be measured by the white blood cell count of a patient. Generally, a female patient should have a white blood cell count of 9 or lower. A male should have 10 or lower. An infection will increase that to 12 or higher, with 20 being a massive medical emergency.

If a patient is treated, or treatment is attempted, and the white blood cell count decreases but still above 9 or 10, that could mean the infection is still ongoing. It a patient is discharged with a higher white blood cell count then is acceptable, that means the infection is still unchecked, untreated, and not responding to treatment. That patient will almost certainly come back for a hospital readmission.

The problem? Most times that hospital readmission will be a few days letter. The patient may think that the treatment has been working and is still feeling ill while waiting for the antibiotics to kick in. But what is really happening is the infection is festering and causing really serious damage.

If the infection is allowed to continue to increase and get worse, it can lead to sepsis. This can result in organ damage particularly the intestines. Now treatment goes from just antibiotics and rest to possibly life-saving surgeries.

Shouldn’t a hospital who discharges a patient early be liable for this as medical malpractice? Absolutely! This is very important for the patient to receive treatment and care, as well as compensation for the mistakes of the healthcare providers that failed to uphold their duty of care.