The medical term MRSA is familiar to many people, but sometimes it is not fully understood. MRSA is an infection caused by a strain of staph bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics which are normally used to treat staph infections. There are two types of MRSA, or methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus: HA-MRSA and CA-MRSA.
In 2005, 278,000 hospitalizations were related to MRSA, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, 94,000 people developed their first serious MRSA infection, and approximately 19,000 of those people died. Of these infections, around 86% are HA-MRSA while only 14% are CA-MRSA. As you can see, a hospital stay can sometimes come with unintended consequences. If you or a loved one has acquired MRSA, it is important to contact a MRSA lawyer in Oklahoma and Arkansas at Carr & Carr Attorneys to see what your rights are.
HA-MRSA or Healthcare-Associated MRSA
Most MRSA infections happen in people who have been in hospitals, nursing homes, dialysis centers or other healthcare settings. This type of MRSA is typically associated with invasive procedures (for example, a patient’s skin is cut as in for surgery) or devices (for example, IVs or artificial joints). In the hospital, patients who have been infected with HA-MRSA are usually placed in isolation to help prevent the spread of the MRSA. Visitors and healthcare workers who take care of people in isolation might be required to wear protective garments and precisely follow infection-reducing procedures.
Risk Factors for HA-MRSA
- Being hospitalized – Hospital employees have mandated steps they must follow to help reduce infections. However, HA-MRSA continues to be a problem for patients whose health is already poor, leaving them more vulnerable to infection.
- Having an invasive medical device – If you physician prescribes devises that enter your body such as a urinary catheter for emptying your bladder or intravenous line (commonly called an IV) to put medicine in your body, you may be at higher risk for contracting MRSA. The entrances for medical tubing can provide a pathway for MRSA to travel into your body.
- Living in a long-term care center – Any time people are living in close quarters such as nursing homes, there is a stronger chance of MRSA being spread. In fact, carriers of MRSA can spread it to others, even if they are not sick themselves. For example, a physical therapist who treats a dozen residents in a large nursing home could spread the infection to each of his or her patients, who might stay in different areas of the facility and not even know each other.
CA-MRSA or Community-Associated MRSA
This type of MRSA has occurred more in the general community among healthy people. This can begin as a painful skin boil and is then spread by skin-to-skin contact. Groups of people who might be more affected include close-contact athletes such as wrestlers, child care workers and those who live in crowded conditions.
Risk Factors for CA-MRSA
- Participating in contact sports – MRSA can easily spread through cuts or abrasions and skin-to-skin contact.
- Living in unsanitary or crowded conditions – Living areas where many people are housed together with little privacy are more likely to be areas where CA-MRSA can be spread. This includes child care centers, military training camps and jails.
- Men having sex with men – Homosexual men have a higher risk of developing MRSA infections, according to the Mayo Clinic.
If you or someone you know has been contracted MRSA due to a stay in a medical facility, you may be entitled to compensation. Such compensation can include your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Contact the MRSA lawyers at Carr & Carr Attorneys today to discuss what options you have, and learn how to protect your rights. We have offices in Northwest Arkansas in Springdale, as well as Oklahoma City and Tulsa in Oklahoma, staffed with caring, knowledgeable professionals who can help you determine the best plan for your family. Call us at 1-877-392-4878 or contact us via email.
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