Staphylococcus aureus (also known as Staph aureus or S. aureus) is a species of bacteria very common in our daily life. There are probably millions of Staph aureus bacteria on your skin right now, generally near the hands and face. Staph aureus can be present in fairly high quantities on healthy, unbroken skin without causing any symptoms. However, a growing problem in hospitals is a strain of Staph aureus called MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staph aureus), which is resistant to the strongest, most oft-prescribed antibiotics.
Non-resistant Staph infections are usually curable, and rarely deadly in healthy adults. However, the widespread use of antibiotics over the last fifty years has caused several species of bacteria, including Staph aureus, to develop resistance to most antibiotics. Bacteria, like all life forms, evolves and adapts to changing conditions. As the worldwide population of Staph aureus has been exposed to increasing levels of antibiotics, those without resistance have largely died off, leaving only the antibiotic-resistant strains alive.
If you or a loved one has acquired an infection such as MRSA in a hospital or following surgery, you may be entitled to financial compensation for the medical expenses, pain and suffering this infection has caused. The Houston, Texas medical injury attorneys at Kennedy Hodges, L.L.P. are now taking cases related to surgical site infections.
A hospital is supposed to be a place of healing, where patients go to be made better. When you or a loved one is in the hospital for a surgical procedure, you expect you will be treated properly and not exposed to any unnecessary danger. However, there is a growing epidemic of bacterial infections, injuring more than 500,000 surgical patients each year. Almost all of these infections could have been prevented with proper hygiene, following standard procedures and avoiding dangerous medical equipment.
Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)
Because so many antibiotics are used in hospitals, hospital-acquired bacterial infections have an especially high rate of antibiotic resistance. One especially problematic strain is known as MRSA, and is resistant to all known antibiotics except vancomycin, which is only somewhat effective. As a result, MRSA infections are extremely difficult and expensive to treat, since vancomycin must be administered intravenously.
MRSA is a huge and growing problem, killing more Americans last year than HIV/AIDS. Hospital-acquired MRSA infections are a serious national health risk, and many researchers believe that the problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria will only get worse.
"To be truly effective," microbiology experts have written, "measures to block MRSA must block airborne transmission." Top hospitals invest in expensive Laminar Flow ventilation systems to protect patients from airborne transmissions of bacteria like MRSA. Forced Air Warming systems destroy the protection of Laminar Flow and may deposit dirty air into the surgical wound.
If you or a loved one has contracted MRSA or another SSI infection, you may be able to file a medical injury claim. You know that hospital-acquired infections are terrible health risks that should be prevented, and you should be compensated for the suffering caused by someone else's negligence.
Get the compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost work, and pain and suffering. To schedule a consultation with our Houston medical injury lawyers, please contact Kennedy Hodges, L.L.P. today.