Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a significant public-health concern, one which the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently highlighted. Essentially, these “nightmare bacteria” are bugs that have evolved over time to become resistant to most drugs, making them difficult to treat and, in some cases, untreatable. Because they often appear in hospitals and nursing homes, antibiotic-resistant bacteria are of special concern to medical malpractice lawyers.
Last month, the CDC reported that it had collected 221 examples of “nightmare bacteria” from across the United States in 2017. Most of the infected individuals were hospital and nursing home patients requiring IVs and other tube treatments.
“Essentially,” the CDC’s principal deputy director Dr. Anne Schuchat warned, “we found nightmare bacteria in your backyard.”
Though the term “nightmare bacteria” is reserved for specific bugs with especially resistant genes, antibiotic-resistant bacteria in general is already a wide-reaching issue. According to the Globe and Mail, Schuchat said that 2-million Americans are infected with these bacteria each year, and 23,000 die.
The rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs stems primarily from improper use of existing treatments. Antibiotics, unlike other drugs, become less effective over time – even the strongest penicillin from 50 years ago will be less effective today, Eili Klein, an antimicrobial resistance researcher at John Hopkins Medicine, told Mashable.
“The root of all resistance is the misuse of antibiotics,” he added. “Bacteria doesn’t distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate use.”
While medical malpractice lawyers are powerless to correct the misuse of antibiotics, they are concerned about the conditions under which an infection can be contracted. Infections, as we discussed in a blog last month, can lead to medical malpractice lawsuits when they are acquired as a result of the medical facility’s negligence or sub-standard care. If, for example, a patient contracts an infection after being subjected to unsanitary conditions, they may have a valid malpractice claim. With “nightmare bacteria” becoming more common in healthcare settings, medical staff must take every possible precaution to prevent the spread of infections.
If you have suffered an injury as a result of negligent medical care, contact the medical malpractice lawyers at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers’ Medical Malpractice Group. Our experienced team can assess the validity of your claim, help you understand your rights and the challenges associated with medical malpractice lawsuits, and guide you on your road to recovery. Reach out today by calling 1-844-920-4242 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. At Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers, your recovery comes first.
Image credit: Umberto Salvagnin/Flickr
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