By Jason Stern
Medical Malpractice and MRSA:
A recent medical trend in our society has been the spread of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria known as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus (MRSA). In the 1990’s scientists warned our healthcare community about the dangers of antibacterial soaps and the over prescribing of antibiotics. Many in the health care industry as well as manufacturers of consumer goods failed to heed these warnings and has since lead to an epidemic of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.
Two types of MRSA:
The spread of MRSA is thought to have started in our nation’s healthcare facilities such as Hospitals or other health care settings. This type of MRSA is known as health-care related MRSA and affects patients who have been in hospitals. Specifically patients who have undergone invasive surgeries or who are receiving dialysis are at higher dangers to contract MRSA as the bacteria travels into the body through entry points such as surgical incisions.
The second more recent type of MRSA to develop is known as community associated MRSA and is becoming more commonly transmitted in day care facilities and among healthy people who participate in contact sports or who frequent gyms. This type of MRSA is usually contracted by topical contact with an infected person or equipment such a mat that was used by the infected person. Community associated MRSA is often manifested by painful boils on the surface of the skin which often have to be drained.
Effects of MRSA:
Once in your body, the MRSA bacteria can travel through a patient’s blood stream attacking and potentially causing permanent damage to almost every vital organ in the body.
Health care related MRSA is usually diagnosed when a culture is taken by a doctor and analyzed at a lab.
Treatment usually consists of the administering of vancomycin to the patient, which is one of the very few drugs that are effective against MRSA bacterial infections.
The failure to diagnose and take the proper precautionary steps to prevent and treat MRSA in our nation’s hospitals is becoming a growing public health problem. The healthcare industry estimates that in 2011 more than 94,000 people contracted life threatening MRSA infections in our nation’s hospitals and it is believed that approximately 20,000 instances were fatal.
As New York attorneys handling Medical Malpractice claims our office is no stranger to these MRSA cases. We have successfully represented MRSA victims who contracted the antibiotic resistant strains of infection in local hospitals through no fault of their own. Not only have hospitals become breeding grounds for the widespread antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria but their failure to diagnose and treat the infection is alarming. A doctor’s failure to diagnose and in many instances properly treat the MRSA infection is medical malpractice.
In December of 2011 a Suffolk County jury awarded a Plaintiff $3.25 million for a doctor’s failure to properly treat the MRSA infection. In this case, upon discovery of the MRSA strain the doctor adopted a wait and see approach rather than to consult with an Infectious Disease Expert or immediately prescribe the appropriate antibiotic. That wait and see approach nearly cost this plaintiff her life as the infection aggressively traveled through the patient’s bloodstream attacking the tissue and muscles of her abdomen wall. Fortunately several surgeries later the patient was able to survive.
Unfortunately many patients will not be as lucky. When a patient contracts the deadly MRSA infection every minute counts. Due to the healthcare community’s failure to aggressively diagnose, treat and consult with Infectious Disease Experts, lives are put at risk.
If you believe you or a loved one has been injured through the misdiagnose and/or treatment of the deadly MRSA infection call The Law Offices of Jason W. Stern & Associates for a free consultation to learn your legal rights.