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Florida Researchers Target Superbug Responsible for Health Care-Associated Infections

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If you or someone you care about is receiving treatment in a hospital, outpatient medical center, or in a nursing home or long-term care facility, it is vitally important to speak up if you suspect you are not receiving the quality of care you are entitled to. Healthcare-associated infections are common, particularly when patients are not carefully monitored or when the proper sanitization practices are not performed. Hospital administrators can be held responsible in these situations through medical malpractice claims. They can also be held liable for overprescribing antibiotics for patients, which encourage antibiotic resistant ‘superbugs’ to form. Florida researchers are currently studying one newly identified strain of bacteria common in hospitals as well as in nursing homes, that is increasingly playing a role in patients deaths.

Healthcare-Associated Infections

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are those that patients contract in the course of receiving medical care. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they are among the leading threats to patient safety, while also being the most easily preventable. Among the ways in which these infections can be acquired include:

  • Unsanitary surfaces and a lack of handwashing among staff;
  • Failure to change surgical dressing or to provide proper wound care;
  • Leaving in catheters and ventilators too long and not changing them regularly;
  • Overprescribing antibiotics to patients, which encourages resistant viruses and strains of bacteria to form.

The CDC reports that on any given day, one out of every 25 patients suffers a healthcare associated infection. These infections can delay overall recovery times and doing damage to body organs. They can also end up proving deadly, particularly for vulnerable patients and those with weak immune systems.

University of Florida Researchers Target ‘Superbug’

The CDC reports that more than 75,000 patients throughout the country have died as a result of HAIs, and there is a particular strain of bacteria that has researchers concerned. This so-called ‘superbug’, otherwise known as A. baumannii, is listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the current greatest threats to human health. Researchers across the globe are working aggressively to prevent it from spreading. It developed as the result of overmedication and is resistant to currently available antibiotics on the market.

Researchers at the University of Florida have been studying the superbug, trying out different drug combinations in the hopes of finding a treatment that works. The bug can cause deadly infections in the respiratory system and in the bloodstream, and has a mortality rate of roughly 80 percent.

Contact Us Today for Help

Hospital and nursing home infections can increase your medical expenses by hundreds of thousands of dollars, while putting your health and safety in jeopardy. If you or a loved one has suffered this type of infection after receiving treatment, the hospital or nursing home and its administrators may be held liable. Contact the Law Firm of William E. Raikes III and request a consultation with our Fort Pierce medical malpractice attorney today to discuss your case and how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Resources:

cdc.gov/hai/surveillance/index.html

news.ufl.edu/articles/2018/04/uf-researchers-target-deadly-superbug.php

who.int/en/news-room/detail/27-02-2017-who-publishes-list-of-bacteria-for-which-new-antibiotics-are-urgently-needed

The Law Office of William E. Raikes III is located in Fort Pierce, FL and serves clients in and around the communities of Fort Pierce, Port Saint Lucie and Vero Beach.

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