A urinary catheter is a standard medical device that nearly all healthcare professionals are familiar with. Inserted into a person’s bladder via the urethra, a catheter is used to collect urine when a patient in a hospital cannot control his or her own bladder. While catheters can be essential medical devices in many situations, an article in ABC News reports that the American Journal of Medicine has found that catheters are not only overused, but that they’re often forgotten about, too.
Catheters Used Too Frequently in U.S. Hospitals
The American Journal of Medicine has recently published research indicating that the rate of use of catheters in U.S. hospitals is too high. In fact, the researchers asserted that 31 percent of hospitalized patients who receive a urinary catheter don’t actually need the devices. The overuse of catheters may be blamed on the high volume of patients that the nursing staff must see on a daily basis; when a catheter is used, a nurse isn’t tasked with cleaning up a patient’s accident, therefore saving a busy nurse time.
Infections from Catheter Use High
The problem isn’t just with the overuse of catheters – the problems lies in the fact that many nurses forget that catheters have been placed, resulting in the devices being left within the patient for too long. As a result, the catheter’s duration can cause urinary tract infections (UTIs) that are painful, require further medical treatment, and can even result in death in extremely severe cases.
UTIs are one of the most prevalent types of healthcare-acquired infections within the U.S. According to a guide published by the Association for Professionals in Infectious Control and Epidemiology, healthcare-acquired infections are a leading cause of the death within the United States, and UTIs account for 36 percent of all healthcare-acquired infections within the United States.
Nurse Negligence is Medical Malpractice
It is often wrongfully assumed that medical malpractice suits can only be filed against doctors. However, nurses are also medical professionals, and may be held liable for harm that they cause to a patient. When a nurse uses a catheter unnecessarily, fails to remove the catheter or monitor the catheter in a timely and effective manner, and when the catheter then leads to infection or other complications as a result, the patient deserves to be compensated. By filing a suit for medical malpractice against the nurse responsible, a patient may be able to recover financial damages for losses suffered.
Take Legal Action by Hiring a Boston Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
If you have sustained an infection or other health complication due to the improper use or monitoring of a urinary catheter in Boston, the attorneys at Lovenberg & Associates, P.C. can help you. Our legal team is ready to work with you to prove that you are a victim of medical malpractice, and that the healthcare professional responsible should be held liable for your injuries. To begin filing your claim today, get in touch with our attorneys now at 617-973-9950.