Medical facilities such as surgery centers, hospitals, and nursing homes are places patients and their families go to seek help and to improve their health. Unfortunately, many patients develop avoidable infections while in the care of a supposedly competent medical facility. When the negligence of a healthcare professional harms a patient, the physician’s actions may constitute medical malpractice.

Patients who acquire infections while in a healthcare facility could face severe, even fatal, complications. With the knowledge and persistence of a Hudson Valley avoidable infection lawyer, they may be able to recoup their damages. Reach out to a seasoned medical malpractice attorney today.

Infection Prevention and Standard of Care

All hospitals, nursing homes, doctor’s offices, and other medical facilities are required to adhere to strict infection control procedures in order to combat the spread of germs within these institutions. Many patients in these medical facilities have compromised immune systems, meaning an infection could have particularly dire consequences. Additionally, with so many ailing patients in close proximity, infections and illness can spread quickly.

What is the Duty of Care for Preventing Infections?

The standard duty of care for infection prevention in medical facilities includes:

  • Having and enforcing an infection control policy
  • Frequent handwashing
  • Wearing gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Identifying contagious patients and placing them in isolation, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
  • Disinfecting and cleaning equipment and surfaces
  • Practicing proper food storage
  • Changing linens daily and when soiled
  • Providing infection control education to patients and staff

When these stringent standards of care are breached, serious infections leading to complications and even death might occur. Medical institutions and their staff could face legal action if an infected patient hires an avoidable infection lawyer in Hudson Valley.

What is a Certificate of Merit?

If a plaintiff hires a Hudson Valley avoidable infection attorney to file their case on their behalf, the attorney is mandated per New York Civil Practice & Law Rules §3012-a to file a certificate of merit. When an attorney represents a malpractice plaintiff, they must meet with a physician in the same field of medicine as the defendant in the case. That physician must agree, after a thorough examination of the evidence, that there is a valid medical reason to file a malpractice case.

Multiple Attempts

Alternatively, the lawyer must make three attempts to contact different physicians in the same area of medicine as the defendant for their professional opinion on the case. With a certificate of merit, the attorney is verifying that they were successful in meeting with a physician who agrees the case has merit, or that they made three good faith separate attempts to do so.
If meeting the requirements to file a certificate of merit would delay filing the case beyond the statute of limitations, the court might grant an additional 90 days. In cases where no certificate of merit is filed, the judge could request one or simply dismiss the case.

Hire a Seasoned Hudson Valley Avoidable Infection Attorney

As a direct result of avoidable infections, patients can incur damages such as medical bills and lost wages, not to mention their pain and suffering. A seasoned Hudson Valley avoidable infection lawyer could help them by filing a lawsuit on their behalf seeking compensation for these damages. To get the legal help you deserve, hire a compassionate attorney today.