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Preventing Hospital Infections

November 20th, 2018
By Zach Christiansen of The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation on Tuesday, November 20, 2018.

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana. Whenever patients enter a healthcare setting, they run the risk of being exposed to infections and even to superbugs (antibiotic and drug-resistant bacteria). Hospitals have a responsibility to take steps to prevent the transmission of illness for people who are in these settings.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, hospitals are advised to perform hand hygiene, to use personal protective equipment, and to prevent the spread of infections through catheters, needles, and ventilators. Hospitals must take steps to prevent infections during surgery and in injection sites. Long-term care facilities are also areas where the risk of infection can be high. In addition to hand hygiene, long-term care facilities may be required to report any major outbreaks, take steps to properly disinfect injection sites, and help residents practice cough etiquette around each other and the public. Long-term care facilities and hospitals treat the most vulnerable members of our population. They have a responsibility to prevent diseases.

The Atlantic reports that more superbugs, or drug-resistant bacteria are appearing in hospitals around the world. The development of new antibiotics has not kept up with the evolution of drug-resistance among bacteria. However, recent studies show promise because researchers have identified a molecule that makes it easier for bacteria to evolve. If researchers can find a way to prevent bacteria from using this molecule, they might be able to help prevent the bacteria strains from evolving drug-resistance.

The molecule gives bacteria the ability to mutate more rapidly. Mutation can lead to evolution, because random changes to the genome can eventually result in bacteria that develop drug-resistance. These bacteria then survive and pass on resistance to their offspring, resulting in a chain of drug-resistant bacteria. The hope is that by eliminating the molecule along with administering antibiotics, that the combination can decrease the development of drug-resistance.

Yet, even if the trials prove effective in reducing the numbers of drug-resistant bacteria out there, the approval of the technique is likely to be years away. Until then, patients rely on hospitals and long-term care facilities to keep surfaces clean and to take measures to prevent the spread of infections.

Has your loved one suffered from a serious illness or wrongful death due to a hospital or long-term care infection? The The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm are wrongful death attorneys in New Orleans, Louisiana who work with victims and families to help them seek damages for their medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering damages, and funeral expenses. Hospitals and long-term care facilities must take steps to prevent infection. When they fail to do so, they could be held liable for illnesses or injuries patients suffer. If you have questions about your rights, visit the The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm today. Our lawyers can review the details of your case and fight to help you get the best possible settlement permitted under the law.

The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation

1615 Poydras Street, Suite 1050

New Orleans, Louisiana, 70112

Phone: (504) 586-5200

Toll Free: (504) 586-5200

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