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Typically, patients enter a hospital expecting to leave feeling better. They are diagnosed, receive treatment and hopefully head home in a better condition. However, many people in Massachusetts find the opposite occurs, actually contracting infections because of their hospital stay. A startling government report reveals several institution’s shortcomings in keeping patients safe from further illness.

Despite years of working against superbugs such as MRSA and C. difficile infections, hospitals have much work to do, according to federal data. What’s more, two Massachusetts medical centers are scoring lower than the national average when it comes to hospital-acquired C. difficile and are no better than the average rates in terms of MRSA. C. difficile, which is an intestinal infection that kills 14,000 people across the country every year, spreads among patients when medical staff use dirty equipment or have dirty hands.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are tens of thousands of cases of MRSA every year, despite national hospital-acquired cases declining 54 percent from 2005 to 2011. Many chalk it up to these bugs becoming resistant to antibiotics, though critics say that hospitals have not begun to appropriately address the issue.

Hospitals have a duty to protect their patients. When an individual contracts an infection as a result of a doctor’s negligence, not only may they face more medical expenses, but they may also have debilitating physical consequences. A medical malpractice suit will hold staff or institutions financially responsible for both bills and damages such as pain or suffering. An attorney is best suited to help an individual seek the compensation they deserve.

Source: Boston Herald, “Superbugs stalk Hub hospitals,” Priyanka Dayal McCluskey, Dec. 31, 2013