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Hospital acquired infections: What you need to know

One of the most dangerous hospital-acquired infections is methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This infection is not something a patient ever wants to hear that they have developed.

MRSA is a bacterium that causes infection to spread throughout various parts of the body. The biggest problem with it is that it developed in hospitals, so it infects the vulnerable and is extremely resistant to antibiotics.

Symptoms of this condition depend on where you're infected. It tends to cause mild infections on the skin, but it can also lead to infections in surgical wounds, the blood, the lungs or other areas. In the wrong location, MRSA can become life-threatening, leading to the need for emergency care.

MRSA starts out as staph bacteria. It's common, and most people have it on their bodies. If it gets inside, that's when it becomes a problem. It is one of the most common causes of skin infections in the country, but those generally do not become dangerous.

What's more dangerous is when staph infection leads to pneumonia or other serious problems. Staph is normally treatable with antibiotics, but the MRSA strain is resistant. MRSA was discovered in 1961, and since then, it has become resistant to penicillin, amoxicillin, oxacillin and other common antibiotics that would normally be used to eliminate dangerous bacteria in the body. MRSA has the ability to adapt, so even new antibiotics may soon no longer work against it.

If you suffer from an infection you acquire in a hospital, you may have a right to file a claim for malpractice. Our site has more on what you can do if you've been a victim of negligence or malpractice.

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