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Nursing Homes and Hospitals at Risk for Antibiotic-Resistant Infections

Written by Ankin Law Office

Antibiotic-resistant “superbug” infections take the lives of at least 23,000 people each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At least 2 million people become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year and countless others die from other medical conditions that were complicated by the resistant bacteria.

Who Is At Risk for Antibiotic Resistance?

Antibiotic-resistant infections can happen anywhere, but data shows that most deaths related to antibiotic-resistant infections take place in healthcare settings, including hospitals and nursing homes. According to the CDC, the following patients are at the highest risk for antibiotic-resistant infections:

  • Cancer chemotherapy patients
  • Patients who have undergone a complex surgery, such as cardiac bypass or joint replacement
  • Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers
  • Dialysis patients
  • Organ and bone marrow transplant patients

As the CDC states, “Many of the advances in medical treatment—joint replacements, organ transplants, cancer therapy, and treatment of chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis—are dependent on the ability to fight infections with antibiotics. If that ability is lost, the ability to safely offer people many life-saving and life-improving modern medical advantages will be lost with it.”

The CDC advises that patients be informed and exercise caution when taking antibiotics. Although antibiotics are generally safe and effective, there are some situations in which an antibiotic may actually be harmful. For instance, when someone takes an antibiotic that they do not need, they are needlessly exposed to the side effects of the drug and do not get any benefit from it. Furthermore, taking an antibiotic when it is not needed can lead to the development of antibiotic resistance and, when resistance develops, antibiotics may not be able to stop future infections.

Antibiotic Problems May Be Caused by Medical Malpractice

More than 140,000 emergency department visits each year are attributed to reactions to antibiotics. In fact, four out of five (79%) emergency department visits for antibiotic-related adverse drug events are due to an allergic reaction. In some situations, the adverse reaction may be the result of medical error or malpractice. If a doctor negligently causes an adverse drug event or negligent overprescribes antibiotics, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other damages.

Lawsuits involving adverse drug events involve complex legal theories and require detailed medical information regarding the patient’s medical history, the medications prescribed, and the safeness of the medication. The Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Ankin Law Office, LLC focus on representing the victims of medical malpractice and unsafe pharmaceuticals and we understand the complex legal issues involved.

Contact Ankin Law Offices at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled Chicago injury lawyers.

Categories: Medical Malpractice