Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) Lawyer
Staphylococcus aureus, or "staph," is a pathogen commonly acquired in hospitals and communities. These organisms are often found in humans, specifically in the mucous membranes and skin. Transmission is generally from direct contact but may also occur from other transmission methods, such as inhalation of infected droplets from coughing or sneezing. Treatment may be complex because of the emergence of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a strain of S. aureus bacteria resistant to many antibiotics.
If you developed hospital-acquired MRSA in California, you might be entitled to financial compensation for your damages. Contact our attorneys today to discuss your Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus case in detail and receive free, friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.
Millions of people receive medical treatment at the emergency room or other medical facilities daily, and some may develop hospital-acquired MRSA. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities must maintain clean surroundings by regularly and thoroughly disinfecting. However, the spread of infection and disease to unsuspecting patients may occur due to a lack of sanitation. If you recently developed hospital-acquired MRSA, one of our experienced attorneys from our law firm is available to review and discuss your case. Contact our legal team today to schedule a free consultation.How Many Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Cases Are Reported Every Year?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 120,000 MRSA bloodstream infection (BSI) cases were reported in the United States in 2017, the year with the most recent data published. From these cases, 20,000 deaths were also reported.
While the rate of MRSA BSI cases has declined, methicillin-resistant S. aureus is an ongoing problem. Data from 2012 to 2017 by the CDC suggested that there has been an increase in bloodstream infections caused by this bacterium, with 3.9 percent annually in the general population.Does MRSA Need to Be Reported in California?
Per California Health & Safety Code Section §1288.55, all acute care general hospitals in the golden state must report Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infection cases that occur during hospitalization.
This information is used by the CA Department of Public Health to determine the rates of MRSA bloodstream infection cases at different hospitals. The CDPH also ensures that the public has access to this information through the annual Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) program.Where Do People Get Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus From?
Colonization of Staphylococcus aureus is higher in some populations, such as immunocompromised individuals, patients admitted to the hospital, people who use needles regularly, like those who are diabetic or use intravenous (IV) drugs, and health care workers.
S. aureus bacteria are generally found in the nose or skin of approximately one-third of the population. Around two in every 100 individuals carry MRSA, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Healthy skin is generally not susceptible to infection by this type of gram-positive bacteria. However, Staphylococcus aureus may cause a wide array of potentially severe infections if it enters the bloodstream or internal tissues.How is MRSA Classified?
There are two classifications for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus:
- Community-Acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA): An infection acquired outside a health care setting.
- Hospital-Acquired MRSA (HA-MRSA): A MRSA infection often acquired following an invasive medical procedure or surgery during hospitalization.
Community-acquired MRSA differs from hospital-acquired MRSA because there is limited resistance, while HA-MRSA has broad resistance to antibiotics. The spectrum of disease for CA-MRSA generally involves soft tissue and skin infections, whereas HA-MRSA is predominantly infections that affect the urinary tract, respiratory system, and blood.What are the Risk Factors for Hospital-Acquired MRSA?
Risk factors for hospital-acquired Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus may include:
- Hospitalization: This infectious disease may affect geriatric patients and those with compromised immune systems.
- Medical Tubing: Invasive medical devices like urinary catheters and intravenous (IV) lines may provide a pathway for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus to enter the body.
- Long-Term Care Facility: This infectious disease is prevalent in nursing homes. Carriers may unknowingly spread the infectious disease, especially if they are asymptomatic.
Individuals with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus skin infections may notice a small cut that is not healing after two to three days. They may experience pain, redness, warmth, and swelling in the infected area of the skin. Other symptoms of MRSA may include:
- Drainage of pus or other fluids from the affected area
- Fever and chills from infection in the bloodstream
If the bacteria burrow deeper into the body, it may lead to a life-threatening infection affecting the lungs, heart valves, bloodstream, surgical wounds, joints, and bones. If you have experienced a wound infection followed by a fever, visit a physician immediately.How is Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Diagnosed?
A physician may recommend tests, such as blood culture, culture/skin biopsy from the infected area, and a drainage culture from the infection to determine which organism is growing in it.How is MRSA Treated?
A physician may drain an abscess for a local skin Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus case. For patients with severe infections, antibiotics may be used as treatment. If a patient is given antibiotics, all doses must be taken. Failure to finish the final dosages may lead to bacterial drug resistance.What are the Complications of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus?
Complications of MRSA may include:
- Heart valve infection
- Infection in the joint or bone
- Infection that surrounds a medical device, like an IV port or a pacemaker
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus connected to contamination in a medical facility may damage your health and affect your life. If you or a loved one recently developed hospital-acquired MRSA, an attorney can help you seek financial compensation for your losses. This may include recovery of medical costs, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, and other damages.
When you work with an experienced lawyer, you can depend on your attorney to evaluate the facts and circumstances surrounding the case and determine the best course of action moving forward. Having a lawyer on your side also means having someone handling your hospital-acquired MRSA case from start to finish. This will allow you the time to focus on healing.Why is it Useful to Have a Lawyer for a Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Case?
Civil cases can be challenging to navigate on your own in California. The last thing you would want to deal with is taking on difficult insurance companies and defense counsel alone. Your MRSA infection attorney can help with the following on your behalf:
- Conduct an independent investigation of the incident to understand how the spread of the infectious disease occurred in the hospital or medical facility
- Handle written and verbal communications with the involved parties, including insurance companies
- Consult expert witnesses to review your medical records and establish a connection between the MRSA outbreak in the healthcare center and your condition.
- Negotiate an insurance settlement that covers all past and future financial and intangible losses.
- File the case in civil court within all applicable deadlines to protect the statute of limitations.
- Be your advocate in court if all attempts at a mutual settlement agreement have been exhausted with the other side.
Patients expect medical rooms and equipment to be thoroughly and regularly sanitized. Hospitals sometimes fail to take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of infections and manage infectious disease outbreaks. If you recently developed hospital-acquired MRSA, contact an experienced attorney to discuss your potential options for recovery.What is the Statute of Limitations to File a Civil Case in California?
Any legal action taken against a negligent individual or entity for an incident has a statute of limitations. This is a filing deadline that must be met, or the case may be dismissed by the court. An excellent way to ensure that the statute is protected in your civil case is to contact an experienced injury lawyer for assistance.
An attorney can clarify the statute of limitations applicable to your case, how various factors may affect your claim, and ensure all documents and deadlines are met on your behalf. Finding the best MRSA infection lawyer to represent you may be challenging, mainly if you are unsure what to look for in an attorney. Watch this video for tips and suggestions.Contact an MRSA Infection Attorney Today
At our law firm, our MRSA infection lawyers have decades of combined experience representing families across California. If you or a loved one has developed hospital-acquired MRSA, contact our legal team for free, friendly case advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. Our history of successful verdicts and settlements demonstrates our commitment as compassionate and skilled personal injury lawyers.
Editor's Note: updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 6.26.23] Photo Credit: RodnaeProd | Pexels ds llo [cs 1502]