Staph Infection Rates on the Rise in U.S. Nursing Homes, Study Finds

May 24, 2014
by Adler Markoff & Associates

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    Staph Infection Rates on the Rise in U.S. Nursing Homes, Study Finds

    New research indicates that community-associated strains of drug-resistant staph infections are spreading throughout nursing homes in the United States. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of California, was recently published in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, and found that strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) were found in nearly every nursing home surveyed. Researchers also noted that nursing homes with a younger population of residents are most at risk. If your loved one has suffered from a medical condition like a staph infection, and you believe a nursing home facility in Oklahoma to be at fault, contact our reputable attorneys at AMA Law to discuss the possibility of filing a personal injury lawsuit for financial compensation.


    MRSA comes in two forms: strains spread through hospitals, from patient to patient, and community-associated strains, which are derived from colonies of bacteria on non-hospital patients, particularly children and young adults. In the study, researchers conducted swabs on hundreds of residents at 22 nursing homes in the state of California. According to the findings, community-associated MRSA accounted (CA-MRSA) for only 25% of the MRSA detected, but was present in 20 of the 22 facilities examined. Detecting the bacteria doesn’t necessarily mean the patients were infected, as MRSA must enter the bloodstream through cuts or other means in order to cause an actual staph infection.


    The researchers involved in the study found that community-associated MRSA was most common in nursing home facilities that housed a younger population, which mirrors the activity of the bacteria in the community at large. This particular strain of MRSA is spread more often in high-contact settings, and the University of California researchers theorized that younger nursing home residents are more mobile and come into contact with more of their fellow patients than typical elderly nursing home residents, thereby spreading the bacteria more quickly. According to the researchers, “community-associated strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) have widely penetrated hospitals and are a growing cause of invasive disease, including bloodstream infections, necrotizing fasciitis, and pneumonia.”


    MRSA infections, which are resistant to treatment by penicillin-based antibiotics, have accounted for more than 60% of hospital staph infections in recent years. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 126,000 hospital MRSA infections occur every year, leading to roughly 5,000 deaths. Some researchers suggest, however, that the number of annual deaths from MRSA in the United States is actually closer to 20,000. If you believe an Oklahoma nursing home facility is to blame for a loved one’s staph infection or another serious medical condition they have developed, consult our knowledgeable lawyers at AMA Law today. He or she may be entitled to financial compensation for the injuries and associated medical bills, which you can pursue by filing a personal injury claim against the allegedly negligent nursing home.

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    (405) 607-8757