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Staff Infection-Who's Responsible?

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Junior Member
Question from Portland, Oregon.

My father had a heart attack this past fall (about 4-5 mos.) ago and had stints placed in his heart. He was recovering well until recently he started to feel weak and every now again would have chest pains. Two weeks ago he admitted himself to the hospital because the chest pains were becoming greater. The day he was admitted his cardio doctor was not in so they kept him overnight and the next day (when his cardio dr. was available) they performed an operation (the name starts with an A..slips my mind at the moment) where they go in and check for blockage in the stint. During the procedure something went wrong (assuming it was fluke and the foreign body they were using in his heart caused this to happen) and they almost lost him. Needless to say, he survived, and they found no blockage. He was then upgraded to the ICU unit and over the next couple of days his health got progressivly worse. The doctors couldn't explain what was happening- there was nothing wrong with his heart-no damage was done that wasn't done during his heart attack in the fall- so they called in an infectious disease doctor for testing. After much probing it was concluded that he had contracted staff aurious. The infectious disease doctor confirmed this was contracted AFTER he entered the hospital, although he couldn't say exactly where on his body it came from (ie: the cathader, the iv, etc..).

Needless to say, my father ended up spending 3 days in the ICU and 4 days in a unit one notch down from the ICU (where they monitor patients more often than not). It took around 4-5 days for them to figure out that he had contracted staff and then started him on the antibiotics. Before they were able to concretely diagnos the staff he was given ultrasounds, x-rays, cat scans...you name it..he got it...

After 24hrs. of not having night sweats and a fever he was finally released. (Mind you they NEVER COULD FIGURE OUT WHY HE WENT IN IN THE FIRST PLACE...the best explanation we've gotten thus far is that he may have just had a normal bug like you or I, but since his heart is damaged partially, this could have caused the pain??)...The staff had covered up the original issue and needs to be dealt with before they can go back to why he came to the hospital in the first place.

He was released on the condition that he would do at home care. He had a pic line put in his arm and has to carry around an at home IV 24 hrs. a day for a little over a month. A nurse comes out once a week to change the IV. Not to mention all the supplies needed during this month process.

The cost is incredible!! And his insurance only covers 80%.

The reason for this LONG and grueling message is because I wanted to let you know as much as I possibly can for advice on what step to take, if there are any that can be taken.

My father is currently unable to perform work, the staff is in his bloodstream and he's weaker than ever. On top of all this...he is going to be billed for a staff in infection that was caused (as the infectious disease doctor stated in front of me and my uncle) AFTER he was admitted to the hospital.

We're not looking for handouts...The guy is 52 yrs. young and he's been through a lot of pain and suffering and lost wages...but this is not what we're after. I just want those who are responsible to take care of their responsibilities. If the hospital personnel gave my dad this staff, had to run all these tests to figure out what was wrong with him, and then treat him for something he contracted while in the hospital I feel they should cover the medical expenses.

Maybe I'm way out of line w/ all this. I don't want to call it malpractice or blame any individual. My father has been through enough this past year and just gotten done paying off his medical bills for his heart attack to spring this one on him as well.

I'm looking for any advice I can get.

Is there a specific person at the hospital I should speak to? (ie: doctor, billing supervisor??)

Should I contact the insurance company?

What type of documentation would I need to proceed if it is possible? (ie: medical bills, medical records, doctor statement)

If you can help me in any way I would appreciate it more than you will ever know. So many people in my family will appreciate it as well.

I've never had to deal with issues like this, so I am a beginner. I apologize if i gave "too much information".

Thanks again.


Senior Member
It's Staph as in Staphylococcus aureus not Staff. Perhaps the procedure was, Angioplasty?

Please consult a med-mal attorney since you have expert opinion (infectious disease doctor) that the infection was caused by his hospital stay. There are several possibilities for resolution. Keep us updated.

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