I Caught Serratia Marcescens at Hospital – Can I Sue?

Medical Malpractice

Hospital acquired infections can be dangerous given their sometimes insidious nature as well as lethality. A lot of people don’t know this, but anywhere from 5 to 10 percent of all patients will get an infection at a hospital during their stay for treatment. This is an alarming number given the fact that hospitals are required to keep their environments relatively clean and infections-free due to the weakened immune systems of individuals that visit these facilities for treatment. One such infection is caused by a gram negative superbug known as Serratia Marcescens, which can become lethal and even kill if it is not identified and treated in a timely manner.

Did you contract a hospital infection and believe that hospital policy and negligence of health professionals was the cause? If you caught a bacterial, viral, fungal or any other infection while undergoing treatment at any hospital around the country, we’d love to help. A medical malpractice lawsuit can help recover money damages so you can seek proper treatment, take care of your past and future medical bills, recover lost wages, compensate you for loss of earning capacity, as well as pain and suffering and so much more. McCready Law is at the forefront of helping injured individuals who have suffered in the hands of negligent doctors and nurses who never did their job to prevent you from contracting hospital-acquired infections. We bring to the table over 90 YEARS of legal experience, and we take on cases on a contingency fee basis, which basically means that you pay us NOTHING as we investigate and seek compensation on your behalf, and only pay us at the end of the suit from the proceeds of your settlement. The call is ABSOLUTELY FREE, so please call (773) 985-5139 NOW to receive your complimentary legal consultation.

Serratia Marcescens- Dangerous Superbug?

Serratia marcescens thrives in soil, but it is mostly seen in toilet bowls, bathtubs, or in shower stalls. Given the number of sick individuals in hospitals at any given time, you’re more likely to come across this gram-negative bacterium in a healthcare setting, especially in fecal matter. Serratia marcescens can be killed off by chlorine, but it is a hardy bacterium that can live on surfaces for weeks. To this end, hospital facilities ought to be wiped down regularly to prevent the spread of this superbug.

Serratia marcescens is usually found in the respiratory tract, urinary and digestive tracts of humans, and those that work in the healthcare industry, especially women that wear artificial nails are more prone to infection by Serratia marcescens. In addition, ICU is a hotspot for this bacterium given its propensity to colonize medical equipment such as respirators as well as the sinks, and common blood products such as plasma.

You’re more likely to contract Serratia marcescens if:

  • you’re a surgery candidate
  • you go for treatment due to a soft tissue injury
  • you’re a pregnant mother delivering a baby
  • have to be put under and hooked up to a respirator
  • are undergoing urinary tract surgery
  • have a history of diabetes mellitus
  • are having a urinary catheter put in
  • are immunocompromised
  • have a history of drug use, especially heroin

Serratia marcescens is known as a nosocomial infection given the fact that it originates from hospitals for the most part. In addition, this gram-negative bug has been known to kill its victims if it’s able to breach the lining of the brain, causing meningitis, or breach the heart, leading to endocarditis. In addition, Serratia marcescens rapidly becoming resistant to antibiotics, making it a clear threat especially in immunocompromised patients.

Some of the ways hospitals can minimize the spread of Serratia marcescens is by:

  • Hand washing : Hospital workers and personnel are the common vectors when it comes to the spread of this bacteria, so thorough and regular hand washing is key as this gets rid of any bacteria that latches on to the hands
  • Disinfecting all surfaces with chlorine bleach, especially if there’s a reddish-pink slime that has developed will help eradicate Serratia marcescens colonies
  • Asking patients not to scratch themselves as this can form microscopic valleys in the skin where bacteria can hide and proliferate

Antibiotic overuse is another reason for the rise of Serratia marcescens due to the resistance to medication that the bacteria has developed, as well as the appearance of new strains that are impervious to common antibiotics.  As the bacteria grows smarter by repeated antibiotic overuse, they find ways to overpower your beneficial bacteria and immune system, setting the stage for a superbug infection that is often difficult to next to impossible to treat.

Here are some forms of hospital negligence that may lead to bacterial infections:

  • Premature patient discharge
  • Performing unauthorized or improper medical procedures
  • Physician fatigue
  • Failing to properly sanitize medical equipment
  • Failure to properly read lab results
  • Failure to act fast when a patient complains of bacterial infection symptoms
  • Hiring inexperienced nurses and surgery techs
  • Medical misdiagnosis
  • Patient neglect

Bacterial Infections from Hospital – Can I File A Lawsuit?

There’s a standard of care that hospital management and staff must abide by when treating patients. It is based on the reasonable actions taken by other medical professionals should they be in the same position, pitted against what the hospital or doctor did or did not do that lead to your development of a hospital acquired infection. Breaching of this standard of care via negligence which led to you catching a hospital-acquired infection will make it possible for you to file a medical malpractice lawsuit to help recover money damages.

Hospital-Acquired Infection Lawsuit Help – Call Us Today!

A hospital-acquired infection lawsuit will entitle you to past and future medical bills, loss of income earning capacity, pain and suffering in some cases, legal fees, loss of consortium by a spouse, wrongful death if your loved one succumbed to the bacterial infection, and so much more. We empathize with you during this difficult time, and we’d like to ask that you ACT FAST when it comes to securing your rights as a victim of Serratia marcescens. Please call our hospital infection lawyers at (773) 985-5139 NOW to get started with the process. Thanks for choosing McCready Law, and we look forward to helping you.