Britton Law, P.A.
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What can you do to stay safe against the 'Superbug?'

It is a sad truth that one of the riskiest places a person can go when they need care is to the hospital or to a specialty nursing facility. As has been often reported in the news, and as we highlighted ourselves in a post not too long ago, hospitals and care facilities are major sources of hazards. These could include mistakes made during major surgery or exposure to bacteria that can be deadly, and that post offered some thoughts on what North Carolina residents can do to better protect themselves.

Even when caregivers follow all the recommended procedures in their efforts to eliminate the threat of patients contracting hazardous bugs, infections can happen. And if such an occurrence can be traced to proper processes and protocols being ignored, victims may wonder if they have grounds for seeking compensation through medical malpractice or negligence claims. The answers to such questions need to be assessed in consultation with experienced legal counsel.

Many of the most dangerous infection sources have been known for some time. With all that science has been able to discover about them, you might think that they would be a thing of the past, but as news in recent days reminds us, there are so-called "superbugs" still active. And they have managed to survive because they have become resistant to antibiotics -- even to carbapenem class antibiotics, which some experts reportedly consider to be a weapon of last resort.

The concern over the bugs has escalated in recent days here in North Carolina. This came after news of three people being hospitalized this year at Carolinas HealthCare System-Lincoln with variants of resistant bacteria. Officials say two cases were contracted outside of the hospital. The third victim became infected while at the hospital.

There is no indication that any of those patients have died, but experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the mortality rates among patients who contract the infection can be as high as 50 percent. And they note that the family of bacteria responsible is usually found in hospitals and other such facilities.

In response to the appearance in North Carolina, CHS says it has stepped up disinfecting protocols, taking measures that go beyond industry standards. They are also screening higher risk patients for the presence of the bugs.

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