When you go to the hospital, you should reasonably expect to heal, not get even sicker. However, due to the amount of people that are always in and out of a hospital, it can actually act as a source of dangerous infections rather than a place of healing and recovery. One such infection is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.
Staphylococcus aureus is the bacteria that is the source of common staph infections. It manifests itself in skin lesions like acne sores or open wounds. While most staph can be treated with antibiotics, the MRSA strain can actually be fatal. Oftentimes it is called HA-MRSA, with the HA standing for healthcare-associated, since it is usually contracted in a hospital.
Staph infections start in the skin and often go no further. However, they can also form deep, painful abscesses. It turns into a scary infection when it penetrates all the way to the bones, lungs, joints, bloodstream, heart, and deep into surgical cuts. When antibiotic-resistant staph attacks your body this deeply, doctors attempt to kill the bacteria with vancomycin, an antibiotic alternative to methicillin. Frighteningly, MRSA is now becoming somewhat resistant to vancomycin as well.
MRSA is most often contracted in hospitals—an estimated 46 out of every 1,000 hospital patients caught the bacteria in 2007. Healthcare providers that improperly insert devices such as central line catheters into patients can expose the visitor to MRSA. Also, living in long-term healthcare facilities can increase a person’s risk for being infected with this disease.
When hospitals are negligent in their cleanliness and treatment of patients, it can infect you with the deadly infection MRSA. Hospitals can be held liable for their actions, and you should talk to an attorney about your rights. For more information regarding hospital infections and other forms of medical negligence, contact a practiced Oklahoma medical malpractice lawyer at the Abel Law Firm today by calling 1-800-739-ABEL.