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Can hospital mistakes lead to staph infections?

When you go to the hospital for medical care, the last thing you expect to happen is to end up with an infection that you didn't have when you were admitted. Sadly, for some hospital patients, being diagnosed with a staph infection while in the hospital is possible. This can lead to very serious complications in some people.

What is staph?

Staph is a germ that lives in the nose or on the skin. In fact, about one out of every three people have staph; however, for most people the germ doesn't cause any problems. For others, pneumonia, wound infections and blood infections are possible when they come into contact with staph. Some staph infections are very dangerous.

What makes some staph infections dangerous?

Staph is usually treated by giving the patient antibiotics. Some staph infections are resistant to these drugs. One example of this is methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus. When the staph infection is resistant to the antibiotics that are usually effective against it, treating it becomes very difficult.

How can a patient avoid getting a staph infection?

One of the best ways that patients can avoid getting a staph infection is to make sure the medical professionals who treat them wash their hands before making contact. Staph germs can live on hands, skin and surfaces, so washing the hands is a primary defense. On top of that, special precautions, known as contact precautions, are used when a patient is known to have staph. Those precautions, such as wearing a gown and gloves, can help to prevent the spread of staph to other patients.

Being diagnosed with a staph infection means having to take special precautions with loved ones. This can have long-lasting life impacts that can affect every aspect of a person's life. Some people won't even be able to work because of the infection. For those who face this hospital-acquired infection, seeking compensation for the damages is possible. Knowing how to do so in Kentucky can make the process easier.

Source: United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Patients and Loved Ones: Information about MRSA in Healthcare Settings" accessed Jan. 15, 2015

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