Hospital-acquired MRSA or Staph infections can range from mild and treatable to fatal, say personal injury attorneys in Jacksonville. When admitted to the hospital, we expect to receive the safest and best treatment available. But for many, a hospital stay can bring a troublesome additional ailment – namely methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, warn personal injury lawyers with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell.
Commonly known as MRSA, the condition occurs when Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, or staph, make its way into the bloodstream. The bacteria lives on the skin or in the lining of the nostrils of nearly 30 percent of the U.S. population and typically is harmless. But when it enters the blood, usually via cuts or scrapes, the consequences can be deadly. Symptoms include small red bumps on the skin which can fester into painful sores. If the bacteria seep into the bloodstream, bones and organs, it can cause potentially fatal infections.
Staph strains that prove resistant to the antibiotic methicillin can be treated with just one other antibiotic, and there exists a risk that the patient will become resistant to that second antibiotic as well. Though anyone can develop a staph infection or MRSA, certain people are at higher risk. These include newborns and breastfeeding mothers; patients with chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes, lung or vascular disease; injecting drug users, both those using illicit drugs and those taking prescribed medications via injection or intravenous catheters; patients with skin disorders or injuries; patients whose immune systems are weakened either because of disease or as a result of immune suppressing medications; and those with unhealed surgical incisions.
Staph infections range from mild and treatable, to fatal – and in any case, are contagious. The good news is that the annual rate of MRSA incidents, both hospital-borne and otherwise, is dropping. A study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that about 80,500 MRSA infections were reported in the U.S. in 2011, down from 111,300 in 2005. The number of serious MRSA infections diagnosed after patients were admitted to hospitals fell by about 54 percent. The incidence of MRSA cases diagnosed after people returned home from hospital stays or visits to healthcare settings fell by 28 percent during the same time period. While it’s fantastic news that efforts to curb MRSA infection rates are beginning to pay off, the condition has yet to be eradicated from the nation’s hospitals and healthcare facilities.
If you or any of your dependents have suffered a MRSA case, get medical treatment immediately, then contact an experienced personal injury attorney with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell. Call us at 800-251-1111.