Hiding superbugs allows for possible medical malpractice claims

One cannot help but wonder if Alexander Fleming ever thought that bacteria will develop a resistance against antibiotics when he discovered penicillin in 1928. It did not take long for bacteria to do just that – in the 1940s, the first reports of resistance to penicillin appeared. It is estimated that what are now called superbugs kills thousands of people, leading to a fair number of medical malpractice claims.

A recent study conducted by Reuters into the prevalence of superbugs provided disturbing results. From the report, it became apparent that hospitals and states deal with superbug infections in a substantially different manner. For instance, Tennessee is one of the states which does not require hospitals to report deaths caused by superbugs. Alarmingly, in its analysis, Reuters found that in excess of 5,500 deaths could be linked to a variety of superbugs in the state. Other states requires close monitoring of superbug-related deaths.  

From the analysis, it also became clear that hospitals often attempt to keep superbug infections under wraps. In the report a number of instances are mentioned where the death certificate clearly omitted mention of the presence of an infection due to a one of these superbugs. In other cases, the hospital did not disclose the presence of a superbug in a ward or downplayed the possible dangers involved.

Superbugs target the weak – premature babies, people with illnesses such as cancer and HIV, and the elderly. When high standards of care to control infections are not maintained, a hospital or nursing home may find it necessary to answer to a medical malpractice claim. The families of deceased Tennessee victims, who suspect that a superbug infection was responsible for the death may benefit from discussing the matter with an attorney for an evaluation of the case.

Source: The Huffington Post, "We Have No Idea How Many People Die From Superbug Infections", Ryan McNeill, Deborah J. Nelson and Yasmeen Abutaleb, Sept. 8, 2016

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information