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Risks hospital patients face

That trip to the hospital could actually put you at serious risk. This is true, to a degree, if you're just visiting. However, experts generally say that the greatest risk for disease, infection and other complications is undoubtedly to people who are patients.

Maybe it starts with a cough, which turns into pneumonia. You go in for treatment and wind up with a serious infection on top of everything else. Now your very life is in danger. How did it happen?

While every case is different, there are some standard risks that you should be aware of when you check in. Some include:

  • Having a doctor or nurse work on you with hospital equipment that has not been properly sterilized
  • Getting a doctor or nurse who has not washed their hands or done other basic types of sanitation
  • Having to stay close to other patients, where you could be exposed to germs, bacteria and disease
  • Working with hospital staff members who are actively sick

One serious issue to watch out for is called a "healthcare-associated infection" or (HAI). This essentially just means you sought care for one type of ailment and ended up with another infection from the hospital. Some reports claim that this happens to roughly one out of every 25 hospital patients. That information comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

If you do end up getting sick or even injured in the hospital, and if you think that negligence contributed to it, make sure you are well aware of all of the legal options you have.

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