Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers: Drug-Resistant SuperbugsMarch 4, 2017
Every day, doctors prescribe antibiotics for their patients who have developed an illness or infection. In most cases, these medications are extremely effective when prescribed and used properly. Over the years, there has been a steady and alarming rise of drug-resistant superbugs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a Nevada resident passed away from an infection that was resistant to all 26 antibiotics that are currently available for use in the United States. While this is not the first case of a drug-resistant antibiotic, public health experts see this latest incident as a sobering reminder of just how serious this problem is, both locally and globally.
The woman who passed away had been traveling in India for an extended period of time prior to becoming ill. While in India, she had been treated for a broken leg and a bone infection. Upon her return to Nevada, she was admitted into an acute care hospital wherein doctors discovered she was infected with an extremely rare carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). Because the victim had a particularly virulent type of CRE, called Klebsiella pneumoniae, which can cause pneumonia, bloodstream infections, and meningitis, her condition was untreatable and she succumbed to septic shock. CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden referred to CRE as a “nightmare bacteria” because of its ability to spread antibiotic resistance.
This case is just one example of the that is posing a serious threat to global health. Last year, a report was released that provided some eye-opening statistics. The report suggests that, if these drug-resistant bacteria continue to evolve as quickly as they are, they have the potential to claim 10 million lives per year by 2050.
Preventative Efforts Can Make a Difference
Scientists are working hard to develop more antibiotics, but this is a time-consuming process. Public health experts encourage healthcare providers and the general public to be more vigilant about preventative efforts, Including:
- Take antibiotics only when necessary. Drug resistance often occurs from too much exposure to antibiotics. Anytime a physician prescribes an antibiotic, ask if it is absolutely necessary.
- Wash hands. This is one of the simplest, yet most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs.
- Avoid traveling to another country for medical treatment. Given the serious nature of antibiotic resistance, the benefits often do not outweigh the risks of contracting a potentially lethal infection.
- Public health initiatives. The antibiotics that are currently available are effective, but often overprescribed by doctors. By developing organized public health initiatives that focus on the smartest, and most effective ways to use these drugs, we may slow the development of these dangerous, drug-resistant superbugs.
Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Deadly Superbugs
If you or a loved one has become ill or passed away after developing a drug-resistant infection, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The Maryland medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton will review the details of your case, including a comprehensive examination of your medical records to determine whether your healthcare provider prescribed an antibiotic for an infection that could have been successfully treated using other therapies. Our dedicated team will not stop until the negligent parties are held accountable for their actions. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.