Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is a dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacterium than can lead to a number of serious, even deadly complications. Like c. diff, MRSA is often contracted by patients in hospitals, and is therefore commonly referred to as a hospital acquired infection, or HAI.
A MRSA infection is a staph infection; staph is usually found on the skin, or in or around the nose. It is a highly contagious bacterial infection, which is why antibiotics are necessary to clear it up. MRSA, however, is a strain that is immune to certain antibiotics, which means doctors must find another way to treat the infection. Sometimes that involves using different medications than one might normally prescribe; sometimes it involves draining the infection site.
Symptoms of MRSA infections
In the beginning, a MRSA infection “generally starts as swollen, painful red bumps that might resemble pimples or spider bites,” according to the Mayo Clinic. Over time, those little bumps can fill with pus, or turn into painful abscesses that require draining. The site of the infection is often warm to the touch, and patients may develop a fever.
If the infection is left untreated, the MRSA bacteria can “burrow” into the body. This can lead to serious complications by spreading the infection to:
- Your bloodstream
- Your organs, including the heart or lungs
- Your joints
- Your bones
It can also develop into pneumonia or sepsis, a complication associated with blood infections that causes inflammatory responses throughout the body. Unchecked, sepsis can lead to septic shock, cause numerous body systems to fail, or even result in death.
Common HAIs outside of MRSA
MRSA, however, is not the only hospital acquired infection; in fact, it is not even the most common HAI. That list, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, includes illnesses such as:
- diff, and other gastrointestinal infections
- Urinary tract infections
- Infections at surgical sites
- Central line infections caused by the used of catheters
- Primary bloodstream infections
Kentucky hospitals in particular struggle to prevent and control the spread of infections like MRSA and C. diff, both of which are highly contagious, and which are most dangerous to the very group of people most likely to contract them – sick people. In comparison, Ohio hospitals’ number of reported HAIs are significantly lower than the national baseline’s, according to the CDC.
When MRSA is detected, contained and treated, the symptoms can clear up within weeks – sometimes even within days. When it is left untreated, however, it can spread to others easily, and can lead to the death of the patient. At Crandall & Pera Law, we hold negligent health care providers accountable when they fail to diagnose MRSA in a timely manner, or when their actions have directly led to the spread of the infection. To find out more about what our medical malpractice attorneys in Kentucky and Ohio can do to help you, please call our Kentucky legal team at 877.651.7764, our Ohio legal team at 877.686.8879, or use our contact form to request a time for a free consultation.