Hospital-Acquired Infections: Who Is Liable and Why?


Prevalence of Hospital-Acquired Infection; The Difficulty of Determining Source
With over 250 deaths per day and the economic impact in billions, and because determining infection source is difficult, hospitals and physicians may be found liable for hospital-acquired or nosocomial infections.

The Perspectives: Improve Your Strategy

Attorneys: What proof is needed for a hospital to be found liable for a patient’s nosocomial infection?
Physicians: How can liability for medical malpractice be avoided for a patient’s infection acquired while at the hospital?
Insurers: Can a payout under a medical malpractice liability policy be avoided by proof that the health provider was not negligent, or proof there was no coverage for a nosocomial infection?
Employers: Can a hospital be subject to liability for a nosocomial infection under the doctrine of respondeat superior?
Practice the Technique: Checklists

Attorneys: A litigation checklist of facts and circumstances tending to prove negligence causing a hospital-acquired infection.
Physicians: Physicians must consider this litigation checklist when defending the diagnosis and treatment of a patient with a hospital-acquired infection.
Insurers: The insurer should use this litigation checklist to spot “red flags” and inconsistencies when investigating a claim of hospital-acquired infection.
Employers: Use this litigation checklist to determine if the employee’s pneumonia is “work related” and occurred “in the course of the employment.”