There are numerous types of SUPERBUGS, and more are expected to develop. The most common known at present are:
- Carbapenem Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE): -- Enterobacteriaceae are a class of bacteria that are normally found in the digestive system. Carbapenem Resistant Enterobacteriaceae are a small set of that family of bacteria that have developed resistance to very strong antibiotics. These infections usually occur in hospital settings, and there have been reports that they have been spread by improper cleaning of equipment used to perform endoscopy (an examination of your digestive system with a flexible tube and camera).
- Clostridium difficile (C. diff): is another common bacteria found in the intestines. The majority of the time, it does no harm. However, if a patient receives antibiotics for another type of infection, it can cause an overgrowth of C. diff and lead to gastrointestinal issues.
- Neisseria gonorrhorea: is spread through sexual contact and is the bacteria that causes gonorrhea. This bacteria used to be easily treated with antibiotics, but new, drug-resistant strains have developed in recent years.
- Multidrug Resistant Acinetobacer: is a bacteria that can live on your skin for days and does not always make you sick. However, for patients who are already very ill and hospitalized from another cause, it can be deadly.
- MRSA or Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus: is a bacteria that can also live on your skin and not make you ill. But it is easy to spread this bacteria to others, and patients with open wounds are at risk for the bacteria to enter the blood stream and cause a life-threatening infection. Many times its located in nasal passages.
- Salmonella typhi (H58 lineage): is a drug-resistant strain of the bacteria that causes typhoid fever. It can contracted by drinking or eating contaminated items.
Although any bacteria can be contracted outside of a hospital or doctors office, the above types are most often associated with doctors’ offices, healthcare facilities, surgicenters, clinics and hospitals, usually due to inadequate sterilization of the facility or equipment, or due to healthcare workers not using proper sanitation techniques and coming in contact with equipment or materials used during the examination or procedure.
If you've been at a hospital, doctors' office, or other health care facility, and you develop symptoms of an infection, and there are too many to list here, depending on the bacteria involved ( from cold symptoms and fever to swelling and redness on your skin, sores and boils on your skin) contact your doctor immediately, or seek help through an emergency room. Quick, early diagnosis and treatment is your best chance to recover from such an infection. An untreated or untimely treated infection can cause severe and debilitating injuries, including bone infection, leading to loss of a limb, and even death. Below is a link to information about SUPERBUGS from the Centers for Disease Control
If you or a family member has contracted a SUPERBUG, get help immediately. After you or your family member have obtained medical help, if you have questions about a potential claim against a hospital, doctors' office or other healthcare facility, call my office for a free consultation.
All the best!
Randy C. Redden