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Superbugs: What You Need To Know About Antibiotic Resistant Infections

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Microscope view of bacteria flowing

If an antibiotic doesn’t work for you, what happens? Usually, your doctor or nurse practitioner just prescribes a different antibiotic. However, because of the overuse of antibiotics, bacterial infections continue to mutate. This creates the opportunity for an antibiotic resistant infection to develop.

Is An Antibiotic Resistant Infection Really A Possibility?

Despite advances made in medicine, it is possible for someone to develop an antibiotic resistant infection. Most people think that if they are sick, they need to call their doctor and get an antibiotic. This simply isn’t the case. Viruses, such as a cold, cannot be improved by taking an antibiotic. Antibiotics should only be prescribed when there is a bacterial infection.

In August of 2016, a woman in her 70’s was admitted to a hospital in Nevada. She was diagnosed with Klebsiella pneumonaiae. While the elderly are more likely to be admitted to a hospital for various strains of pneumonia, this woman’s infection was different. The particular strain of Klebsiella pneumonaiae was the medical profession’s worst nightmare. It was resistant to each and every antibiotic approved for use by the FDA. She died from septic shock in September 2016.

Aren’t New Drugs Being Developed All The Time?

There’s probably not a week that goes by where you hear or see an advertisement for a clinical trial of some sort. It looks to the public like new drugs are being developed all the time. While we do see several medications tested each year, it’s important to note that these often treat conditions or symptoms. The CDC noted that the number of new antibiotics under development over the last several decades has dropped. In fact, the CDC states that although the use of antibiotics has greatly reduced the number of deaths from infectious diseases since the 1940’s, their overuse has caused more than 2 million people to experience antibiotic resistant infections. Out of those 2 million people, 23,000 of them die.

Antibiotic Resistant Infections Are An Urgent Threat To Our Health

In 2013, the CDC declared developing and testing new antibiotics as one of their key objectives. Many antibiotic resistant infections come from a strain of drug-resistant bugs known as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). This bacteria is known to cause more than 9,000 infections and 600 deaths each year according to the CDC. Although CRE is often susceptible to at least one FDA approved antibiotic, the death of the elderly woman in Nevada is a concern. The bug can be clearly become antibiotic resistant to all known and approved treatments.

Individuals who have health challenges are more likely to experience an antibiotic resistant infection. Of course, doctors can and do continue to treat the infection even when it doesn’t appear to respond. Yet, continued use of strong antibiotics can do more than wipe out the infection. It can also cause distress for the patient. People who are hospitalized for long periods of time or who take antibiotics on a regular basis are also at risk for developing an antibiotic resistant infection.

The Medical Device Injury Lawyers Of The Goldwater Law Firm

There are some instances where bad design can cause bacteria to be trapped in a medical device and transferred from one patient to another. This can result in septic shock and even death. The Goldwater Law Firm helps people who are hurt by defective medical devices. We provide free case evaluations. To learn how our lawyers can help you, contact us today.