As we have mentioned before on our Chicago medical malpractice law blog, patients are at risk of becoming seriously ill while receiving medical treatment and care in hospitals and nursing homes. Hospital negligence and nursing home neglect may lead to a variety of health complications, but one common complication may include an acquired infection.
Many infections, when diagnosed in a timely manner, are treatable. But one type of bacteria that is showing up in hospitals and medical facilities is becoming resistant to antibiotics, researchers and scientists claim. As a result, patients who are exposed to the carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) may not be able to receive effective treatment to prevent infections from the bacteria, which may result in serious harm or death.
Researchers and scientists are worried that if something is not done now to prevent the spread of the bacteria in medical facilities, the bacteria may spread outside of medical facilities.
In order to stop the spread of CRE in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued a warning asking medical professionals and facilities to implement policies and procedures to better detect patients who may be infected with the superbug and to take precautions to prevent the spread of CRE in medical facilities.
Some medical professionals believe some bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics due to doctors’ practices of overprescribing antibiotics. The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America claims that more than 30 percent of hospital patients who receive antibiotics do not really need the medications.
The CDC has provided medical professionals and facilities with a list of actions to consider taking in order to prevent the spread of CRE. The CDC claims that medical facilities need to have warning systems in place to better detect patients who have CRE and to quickly notify health care workers when a CRE infection is detected. The CDC has also suggested that facilities provide special rooms to be used only by patients who have CRE.
As many already know, some of the simplest ways to prevent the spread of bacteria and infections is to make sure medical equipment is sanitized and to wash one’s hands before and after working with patients. The CDC said that all doctors, nurses and other health care workers who assist patients must make sure they wash their hands thoroughly to keep patients as safe as possible.
Source: amednews.com, “CDC spells out ways to stop spread of “nightmare bacteria,” Christine S. Moyer, March 18, 2013
- Our Chicago medical malpractice firm provides counsel to patients and families who have been harmed by hospital mistakes such as hospital-acquired infections. To learn more about our firm and practice, please visit our Chicago hospital negligence lawyer page.