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On Antibiotics? Could You Be Putting Yourself at Greater Risk?

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana. Antibiotics are designed to treat certain bacterial infections. However, over-prescription of antibiotics or the prescription of the wrong kind of antibiotic to treat infection can, over time, lead to bacteria developing resistance to these drugs. When bacteria develop resistance, the antibiotic no longer works. According to the Centers for Disease Control, bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics through natural selection. If one bacteria develops a method to protect itself from the antibiotic, it survives and multiplies while the other bacteria die. 

Yet, according to Wired, doctors are facing a battle against a pathogen that is resistant to virtually all drugs. The pathogen isn't bacteria or a new kind of Ebola, but something far more mundane--it is yeast. The new pathogenic yeast doesn't behave like normal yeast found in the body that typically multiplies in warm damp areas. This yeast can live on cool surfaces, like the hands and skin, where it can be transmitted to other patients.

Alarmingly, unlike antibiotics, there aren't many medications available to treat yeast infections, especially resistant infections. In fact, there's only one kind of treatment with minimum side-effects, and the other kind of treatment leaves patients suffering from fever and chills. These infections, even when treated, have led to deaths in 60 percent of the patients who develop illness. According to Wired, there have already been 340 recorded cases of the bug. In the U.S., total resistance to all treatment is 3 percent, while globally, the yeast's resistance to all treatment is 20 percent.

The greatest risk that drug-resistant yeast and bacteria pose is to hospital patients. These patients tend to be more vulnerable and disinfectant practices in hospitals tend to be more stringent, meaning they ironically can lead to the growth of more drug-resistant pathogens. Based on initial studies, it appears that patients with already compromised immune systems may be at risk. It isn't clear how the pathogen would behave among healthy people, but doctors believe that most individuals would be able to fight it off. 

Hospitals have a responsibility to identify the pathogens as soon as possible and to take measures to prevent the spread. Unfortunately, even the most heroic attempts to contain the yeast have proven futile. So, what can you do to protect yourself? First off, don't take antibiotics unless you absolutely have to. Secondly, if your loved one is sick in the hospital, make sure that doctors are washing their hands and practicing basic sanitary protocols. 

If you or a loved one got sick in a hospital because you believe that the hospital didn't practice standards of sanitation or care, you may be entitled to seek damages under the law. The Bowling Law Firm are medical malpractice lawyers in New Orleans, Louisiana who help victims and their families seek damages after injury. Visit our firm at https://www.lawbowling.com/ to learn more about how we may be able to help you and your loved ones seek justice.

The Bowling Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation 

1615 Poydras Street, Suite 1050 

New Orleans, Louisiana, 70112 

Phone: 504-613-4561 

Toll Free: 877-757-3539

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