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Chicago Hospitals Halve Infections from Dangerous Superbug

CRE infections on the decline in Chicago hospitalsA group of Chicago hospitals have succeeded in halving the number of infections caused by the deadly superbug involved in two recent Los Angeles outbreaks, Reuters reports. U.S. health officials have taken note of the success, and now want to replicate the results on a national scale. According to the article, the White House recently informed the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of its 2020 goal for a dramatic reduction in rates of infection by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The bacteria studied in Chicago was the same type of bacteria responsible for the recent spate of infections at two Los Angeles hospitals. Carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are a highly antibiotic-resistant strain of gut-dwelling bacteria that are hard to treat and often deadly to those infected. Earlier this year at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, CRE infections left two patients dead and up to 200 more infected. An additional four patients were infected just weeks later at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The infections were found to have been caused by contaminated duodenoscopes—a type of medical device used to diagnose and treat gastrointestinal problems. Due to their hard-to-clean design, the duodenoscopes harbored dangerous CRE, which were then transmitted to patients during endoscopy procedures. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has since announced that the duodenoscopes are unsafe.

According to Reuters, the Chicago program demonstrated that after three years, CRE infections had fallen by 50 percent with the use of specialized infection-control procedures. While experts admit that some of the processes used in the program may not be suitable for average U.S. hospitals, the results nonetheless demonstrate methods by which the CDC can achieve its 2020 goal.

Antibiotic resistance has been classified as a global emergency, and plays a large role in the persisting problem of U.S. hospital–acquired infections. Recent CDC estimates reveal that 1 in 25 hospitalized patients acquire an infection, and roughly 722,000 hospital-acquired infections result in or contribute to 75,000 deaths each year in U.S. health facilities.

The attorneys at Lopez McHugh are dedicated to helping patients who suffered from hospital-acquired infections. If you believe you or a loved one was infected due to hospital mismanagement, negligence, or malpractice, contact our lawyers today for a free consultation. You may be eligible to receive compensation.