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Is it possible to beat a hospital-acquired disease claim?

Even the world’s cleanest hospitals can face an infectious disease malpractice claim. Drug-resistant bacteria and viruses are causing more infections to long-term patients and people recovering from surgery. These immune compromised patients have a higher chance of infection even if they were not in a hospital. Today, we will take a look at what a hospital malpractice case entails and strategies a hospital can use to help their defense.

As with other malpractice cases, the plaintiff of a hospital-acquired infection claim needs to prove that the hospital breached the standards of care which then led to the patient acquiring a disease. This plaintiff discovery process can involve hospitals turning over sensitive patient records or difficult staff interviews. Having a plaintiff’s attorney on-site can be stressful and employees may be worried about saying something that can be used against the hospital.

If you are defending your hospital from a medical malpractice case there are a few strategies you should know. First, you’ll want to understand the time limits that apply to your medical malpractice case. In Ohio, patients can only file within one year of surgery or within four years of the accident that necessitated the need for surgery. You should also present experts during a pre-trial that can explain the difficultly of proving where an infection happened. Finally, having an organized timeline of a patient’s stay at your hospital may be able to prove that your hospital was not responsible for an infection.

An experienced attorney may be useful for hospitals that need help with their infectious disease cases. A knowledgeable lawyer may be able to tell hospitals what their rights are and what paperwork they can share without violating HIPPA laws. An attorney may also have access to experts that can explain how difficult it is to prove an infection's origin in hopes of seeing a legal action dropped or dismissed.

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