Methicillin-Resistance Aureus (or MRSA) is a potentially deadly infection typically acquired in hospitals. The Centers for Disease Control (or CDC) estimates that 18,000 people die every year of MRSA in U.S. healthcare facilities. As a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer, I am pleased to see that Chicago's Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine brings attention to this serious health hazard every year by holding its annual World MRSA Day and Global MRSA Summit. This year's event will be held at the medical school on October 1, 2011 at 10:30 AM, which is free to the public.
MRSA is caused by a strain of staff infection. Unlike other staff infections, MRSA has become resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat staff related infections. The infection is commonly acquired during invasive procedures like surgery or invasive devices like tubing and artificial joints that have bacteria on them. In addition to objections, MRSA may be spread through skin contact.
The good news is MRSA infections can be dramatically reduced through some simple but important measures; this will increase patient safety and reduce medical malpractice lawsuits. First, hospital staff must make a firm commitment to hygiene. That means hospitals staff must regularly wash their hands and be extra careful around patients known to have MRSA. Hospital objects must also be kept clean. As described in prior articles, hospital objects that regularly carry the infection include hospital staff security badges. Hospital patients can also help by washing their hands (if they are able) after easting and using the toilet. The same applies to hospital patient visitors, as they are also at risk of acquiring the infection. These and other measures can substantially reduce the risk of MRSA.
World News Today Website, Loyola To Hold World MRSA Day, September 30, 2011
Mayo Clinic Website, MRSA Definition, September 30, 2011.
WebMD Website, Understanding MRSA Infections - The Basics, September 30, 2011.
NHS Choices (UK), Preventing MRSA Infection, September 30, 2011.