Family visits sick family member in hospital.

There’s a staph infection that looks like other staph infections, but it doesn’t act like them. In fact, it doesn’t even respond to the same antibiotics. Looks like a duck but acts like a dog, sort of thing. We’re talking about methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus infection. Don’t worry we’ll only say that once. The more common term is a MRSA infection.

In this post we’ll be focusing our attention on MRSA lawsuits. Now, MRSA lawsuits can come about for a number of reasons. For starters, this superbug can give doctors a really hard time. 

For instance, maybe someone has a MRSA infection but doctors think it’s a more routine staph infection. But eventually they realize it isn’t responding to any antibiotics. By the time the doctor goes back to the MRSA idea, it’s even harder to treat than before. This makes timely diagnosis and quick treatment so important. 

Staph infections usually aren’t a big deal until they’re combined with other illnesses. This makes hospital settings seem worrisome, doesn’t it? If the infection takes advantage of a weakened immune system it’s possible a condition like pneumonia may develop. The staph infection can then invade the lungs. A recipe for disaster. Here, let’s keep digging into topic in the next section..

Nurse washing her hands to avoid infection.

How Hospitals Can Prevent MRSA Outbreaks 

Hospitals have strict sterilization protocols. Surgeons must have sterilized hands, clothes, and instruments to interact with patients. And routines surrounding surgery need to be absolutely flawless to avoid brewing bacteria. 

MRSA spreads through direct contact. Patients with open wounds post-surgery are some of the most vulnerable. This superbug is contagious as well as hard to treat. Close monitoring is needed when treating MRSA patients. 

New technology allows hospitals to keep air cleaner. It filters out agents that can bring staph infections. Even still, some staph infections are unavoidable. That is why staph infection lawsuits can be tricky. 

There have been instances of MRSA outbreaks in hospitals. Unfortunately, this is where many patients are getting this type of infection. Even in the NICU of a LA hospital, there was an outbreak of MRSA infections among a floor of newborn babies. Luckily there weren’t any deaths from the outbreak. Hospitals are a vulnerable place with patients being in such close proximity. But that doesn’t negate their responsibility. If you think you have a MRSA lawsuit on your hands, keep reading. 

The Effects Of Untreated MRSA 

If MRSA isn’t treated aggressively and with good timing that infection quickly spreads. A 65-year-old man had surgery to remove a rectal tumor. Two months after surgery the man was feeling extra weak, lost 45 pounds, and was experiencing back pain. He returned to his doctor but wasn’t given any further treatment. 

A month later he went to the ER with a fever and tests showed a MRSA infection. He was given antibiotics. When he saw his doctor about it, the doctor said he was misdiagnosed and it wasn’t MRSA.

Two months later he went to another ER with leg paralysis and even worse back pain. An MRI revealed a spinal abscess and epidural collections. This resulted in severe spinal canal stenosis and cord compression. The pus tested positive for MRSA. 

The man is now confined to a wheelchair with no motor function in his legs. The MRSA infection not being treated properly gave him a serious injury that he now has to live with.  (Did you know that you can sue your doctor for not helping you? Read about it here.

When MRSA goes untreated it can get into your bloodstream. The infection can then spread to other organs. So the superbug that starts as a skin infection has the potential to become an infection in other organs. It can also lead to sepsis which is the body’s extreme reaction to the infection.  Now you can see why in cases like this it only makes sense to file a MRSA lawsuit. 

A man sits in his wheelchair.

What Leads To Staph Infection Lawsuits

There are a few things that can happen within a hospital which can lead to MRSA lawsuit settlements or court cases. Such as: 

  1. Lack of informed consent. – Were the risks of infection communicated to you before you consent to treatment?
  2. Delay of effective treatment. – Were you diagnosed too late or not given the aggressive treatment you needed? 
  3. Surgical Neglect 
    1. Dead space left to collect bacteria 
    2. Debris making contact with the wound 
    3. Hemoglobin from shedded blood making contact with the wound 
    4. An inadequate blood supply to the tissue during surgery
    5. Failure to follow sterilization protocol. – Was there improper handling of instruments or failure to sanitize hands, clothes, and surfaces? 

As you can imagine a lot of these are hard to prove. But of course, it’s always worth speaking to a MRSA lawsuit lawyer on the specifics of your case. Since in most scenarios, the patient isn’t awake during the surgery. You need to prove the hospital acted negligently. Then prove that negligence caused the MRSA infection. If that situation led to injury, you may have an MRSA lawsuit.

You have a right to hold people accountable for your or your loved one’s injuries. If you think you may have an MRSA infection lawsuit, contact our office right away.