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The Dangers of Hospital-Acquired Conditions

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We trust medical professionals to take care of us in our time of need, and while they may be highly-trained individuals, that doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes.

Thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people die because of these mistakes every year. Hospital-acquired conditions, also known as never events, are difficult to track due to a lack of reporting from hospitals and other medical care providers, but research teams have combed through decades of medical records and determined that these events should be considered the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Congress passed the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 which required the Secretary of Health and Human Services to identify conditions that were expensive to treat, happened frequently, and could have been prevented through reasonable care. In 2008, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) produced a list of 10 conditions that fit this criteria, and later increased the total number of categories to 14 in 2013. The categories are:

  • Iatrogenic Pneumothorax with Venous Catheterization
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)/Pulmonary Embolism (PE) Following Certain Orthopedic Procedures
  • Surgical Site Infection Following Cardiac Implantable Electronic Device (CIED)
  • Surgical Site Infection Following Certain Orthopedic Procedures
  • Surgical Site Infection Following Bariatric Surgery for Obesity
  • Surgical Site Infection, Mediastinitis, Following Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG)
  • Vascular Catheter-Associated Infection
  • Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
  • Manifestations of Poor Glycemic Control
  • Falls and Trauma
  • Stage III and IV Pressure Ulcers
  • Blood Incompatibility
  • Air Embolism
  • Foreign Object Retained After Surgery

Some categories have additional sub-categories, which are outlined in the CMS’ published list of HACs (PDF).

At Levinson Axelrod, our New Jersey medical malpractice attorneys have spent decades fighting for the rights of injured victims. Through our efforts, we have secured more than $1 billion in verdicts and settlements, and we remain committed to providing every client who walks through our doors with the experienced and passionate legal representation they require. If you suffered a hospital-acquired condition, call our firm at (732) 440-3089 to discuss your legal options, or fill out our online form to request a free case evaluation today.

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