October is World MRSA Awareness Month

 More people die from methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus or MRSA infections every year than from HIV-AIDS or H1N1.  These organisms account for a large percentage of the deadly hospital-acquired infections that Hawaii medical malpractice lawyers come across every year.  In spite of this, we find that this deadly organism does not receive the attention it deserves.

That will change over the next few days as health groups around the country mark World MRSA Awareness Month this October.  The theme for this month will be The MRSA Epidemic-A Call to Action, and the highlight is International Infection Prevention Week, which falls between October 16 and October 22.  October 1 was marked as the third World MRSA Day.

This special commemoration to draw attention to a deadly organism that kills tens of thousands of people every year was the brainchild of Jeanine Thomas, the president and founder of the MRSA Survivors Network.  The group is the first advocacy group in the United States to raise awareness about the MRSA infections. 

MRSA is the single deadliest organism that a patient can pick up in a hospital.  Hospitals and healthcare settings provide fertile breeding grounds for these deadly organisms.  What makes these pathogens so deadly is that they are resistant to several antibiotics that are normally used to treat staph infections.  These pathogens enter the body through cuts, sores, wounds or contaminated tubes.

Patients in a hospital may be much more susceptible to MRSA infections because of their weakened immune systems.  If you’ve been hospitalized over the past year or have had surgery, you may be at a special risk for MRSA infections.  Symptoms of MRSA infections include painful swellings at the site of the infection, headaches, fever, chills, chest pain, fatigue, and skin abscesses.  MRSA infections can lead to serious complications, including kidney failure, pneumonia, blood poisoning, and toxic shock syndrome.

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