CBS Evening News reported last week on the rise of a frightening new medical threat that is affecting a rising number of patients all across the country. Medical professionals have identified a new class of infection that patients are getting once they are at hospitals for other reasons. The infection is a “superbug” that seems resistant to antibiotics, unable to be treated in any way at all.
The bug is similar to MSRA, the well-known hospital borne infection that plagues many medical facilities. While potentially deadly, MSRA can usually be treated successfully with antibiotics. However the new hospital problem is worse. Specifically, five different superbugs have been identified as plaguing hospitals everywhere. One out of every five infections that intensive care patients get while at the hospital are now of this more resistant variety.
The problem truly cannot be overstated. As one infectious disease doctor explained, “What these organisms have done, by creating super-antibiotic resistance, is that they’ve set medicine back by 70 years in time.”
The bacteria is capable of living on hospital surfaces for years. A recent study found that perhaps half of medical workers-particularly those in surgical centers-fail to take all necessary steps to help control the infections. Those basic techniques include hand washing and proper sterilization.
Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Levin & Perconti are committed to helping all of those patients who have been affected by negligent behavior in hospitals. We understand that certain parts of medical care are never guarantees and that risk is inherently a part of proper care. However, too often medical professionals do not do all that they could do to ensure that the medical environment is bacteria-free. When medical mistakes are made that increase the prevalence of these deadly bugs, many patients will be permanently harmed and sometimes killed because of it. That conduct is unacceptable.
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