When people go to the hospital, they expect the medical staff to do their best to treat their conditions. Many recognize that sometimes current science limits the abilities of health care providers to aid them in making full recoveries. Few expect they may contract illnesses, such as central line-associated bloodstream infections, due to lapses in care.
Patients often benefit from knowing about these types of infections and the ways their health care teams can help keep them safe.
What are central line-associated bloodstream infections?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, central line-associated bloodstream infections include those illnesses that develop due to germs getting into the bloodstream through central lines. The term central line refers to central venous catheters. Placed in major veins close to the heart, medical providers use these for things such as giving medications or fluids or drawing blood.
Patients who develop CLASBIs may experience ranging symptoms. Often, they develop soreness and red skin around the insertion site, and many also have fevers. A CLASBI may cause patients worsened health conditions or, in some cases, even death.
Can health care providers prevent CLASBIs?
According to University of Florida Health, by taking safety precautions, health care providers may help prevent many of their patients from developing central line-associated bloodstream infections. These measures include steps such as the following:
- Using proper hand hygiene
- Wearing a mask, sterile gloves, cap and gown
- Refraining from touching anything not sterilized during the insertion procedure
- Covering the catheter with clear plastic tape or gauze once in place
With appropriate care and monitoring, most patients will not develop central line-associated bloodstream or other hospital-acquired infections. Therefore, patients who contract such conditions may consider consulting with an attorney to learn about their options to pursue compensation for their resulting medical expenses and pain and suffering.