Posts tagged: infection

MRSA Infection Lawsuit Results In $17.5 Million Verdict

In 2005, the number of deaths caused by Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in the United States overtook the number of deaths caused by AIDS.  More than doubling from five years earlier, almost nineteen thousand people died as a result of MRSA and a further ninety-four thousand suffered life-threatening infections from the bacterium.[1] What worries me when I hear reports like this is that while MRSA infections can be just as deadly as AIDS, they are generally much simpler to treat and prevent. In part, this is why I see a growing number of victims turning to courts to provide them with relief when medical authorities fail them.

David Fitzgerald had all four limbs amputated after suffering from a serious MRSA infection.

MRSA-related lawsuits are generally claims of negligence against a medical authority that has some responsibility or duty of care towards the victim.  Due to the varied ways in which a MRSA infection can be acquired or mistreated, liability can arise in many different circumstances against a variety of parties.  At low levels, a medical malpractice lawsuit can arise from an individual doctor misdiagnosing or mistreating a MRSA infection that has already occurred in their patient.  This is what happened to a patient in Texas, David Fitzgerald, whose doctor treated him with eight different antibiotics, none of which were effective against MRSAs.[2] As a result, David developed gangrene and had all four limbs amputated. He was awarded $17.5 million as a result of negligent treatment of his MRSA infection, however this was later reduced to $7.5 million under Texas damages cap ruling. David currently lives with his brother, and is unable to bathe or leave the house by himself.

As we trace responsibility up the food chain we see facilities at which victims acquired their infections being sued, especially hospitals.  These types of lawsuits focus on environmental conditions at the facility and place the blame for the infection on Read more »

Over 100 Million Doses Of Antibiotics Are Administered Every Year

More than 80 years ago, Alexander Fleming, a bacteriologist, theorized that antibacterial would be found in his own nasal mucus.  During his experiment, a spore of a variant called Penicillium notatum accidentally contaminated his culture plate of Staphylococcus bacteria. This mold released a substance that inhibited the growth of the bacteria, leading to the breakthrough discovery of penicillin which triggered the beginning of a worldwide medical revolution.

Antibiotics, such as penicillin, have greatly reduced illness and death from infections. Today, 130 million doses of antibiotics are administered every year, and up to half of these have been deemed as unnecessary.  One of the main reasons for this occurs when antibiotics are prescribed for viral rather than bacterial infections. As a result, bacterium such as MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) have “learned” to develop resistance against common antibiotics and have begun to cause severe infections that are expensive to

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