CDC Assessment Spells Out Superbug Concerns for Nursing Homes, Indiana Personal Injury Attorney Says

Mike Stephenson, a partner with McNeely Stephenson Thopy & Harrold, says long-term care facilities must be a part of the solution to the increasing problem posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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Indiana Attorney Mike Stephenson

I urge everyone who has a loved one in an Indiana nursing home to question the facility’s medical providers about how they are avoiding overuse of antibiotics.

Shelbyville, IN (PRWEB) September 27, 2013

A report released September 16, 2013, by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), describes the threat posed by three antibiotic-resistant germs as “urgent.” Two of the three are especially prevalent in medical settings and nursing homes, adding to the vulnerability of our elderly loved ones, said Mike Stephenson, a personal injury attorney in Shelbyville and Indianapolis.

The microorganisms, or “superbugs,” at issue for nursing home residents are Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and Clostridium difficile.

In a March 2013 press briefing, CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., said, “CRE are nightmare bacteria. Our strongest antibiotics don’t work and patients are left with potentially untreatable infections.” This superbug kills up to half of the patients who get bloodstream infections from the disease, according to the CDC.

Clostridium difficile, sometimes called “C diff,” is a serious diarrheal infection usually associated with antibiotic use. It causes about 337,000 hospitalizations and at least 14,000 deaths every year in the United States, according to CDC data.

Another study, this one published in the April issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, found that long-term care facility residents have 8 times the risk of contracting a particular strain of E. coli compared with those not so housed. "The finding that clonal expansion of ST131 is occurring primarily in healthcare and long-term care facilities indicates an urgent need for improved antibiotic use and infection control practices within such institutions, both to reduce selection for ST131 and to block further transmission,” said Ritu Banerjee, lead investigator of the study.

“Since the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimated in a report to Congress that by the year 2050 there would be 27 million people in the U.S. in long-term care,” Stephenson said, “the dangers posed by these superbugs are appropriately described as urgent. As a personal injury attorney, I urge everyone who has a loved one in an Indiana nursing home to question the facility’s medical providers about how they are avoiding overuse of antibiotics. Long-term care homes must practice good antibiotic stewardship, ensuring that our seniors are not endangered by unnecessary or poorly monitored antibiotic use.”

Mike Stephenson has been successfully litigating personal injury cases, including those related to nursing home abuse or medical malpractice, since 1981.


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