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Infections, patients' deaths spur health concerns nationally

Here's something that will assuredly fuel the concerns of health regulators, hospital officials and doctors nationally: clear indications that a deadly form of bacteria is spreading across the country.

That bacterial strain is known in shorthand terms as CRE. The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ominously states that it can "contribute to death in up to 50 percent of patients who become infected."

CRE is spread by touch, which has resulted in its transmission in a number of cases through doctors' use of insufficiently sterilized endoscopes used to treat patients' digestive problems. Because those scopes are multi-use instruments, their role in spreading infection is immediately understandable.

It has also proven to be deadly. It was reported just last week, for example, that two patients at a large Los Angeles hospital recently died from CRE infections traced back to tainted scopes inserted into their throats. Officials at the Ronald Reagan Medical Center also note that five other patients tested positive for CRE and that the facility has contacted 179 additional ex-patients who might have been exposed.

The ramifications for such troubling news are hardly limited to Southern California, of course. Any report of bacterial spreading -- especially regarding a strain so feared as CRE -- is of instant concern nationally, including in Texas. "[O]utbreaks of the bacterium seem to be on the rise," notes one recent media report on the matter, which adds that scores of people have been affected in outbreaks occurring in at least four states since 2012.

Infections that threaten the public are always a grave concern, of course, with that concern being exacerbated when the spread of illness and disease owes in part or wholly to preventable medical error. Consultation service from the Maloney Lawyers is free. Contact us today to get started.

The failure to properly sterilize medical equipment is certainly a case in point.

Source: Newsweek, "Superbug kills two at UCLA; 179 others may have been exposed," Douglas Main, Feb. 19, 2015

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