Loyola University Medical Center made the announcement this week that the hospital will begin evaluating all new patients for staph infections. Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus infections (MRSAs) are the type of bacterial infections that do not respond to treatment with antibiotics.
The new policy comes in the wake of a $25 million dollar wrongful death suit filed this week by the surviving parent of a Brooklyn boy, who died of MRSA-related complications in Kings County Hospital.
Loyola Medical Center initiated the universal testing policy in part because of the alarming number of cases of staph infections showing up around the country. The test is a simple matter of a nasal swab to determine if the bacteria are present. Because transmission of the bacteria usually takes place from patient to patient via nurse or doctor, it is especially important to encourage a thorough hand-washing policy among hospital staff members.
Although many staph infections are minor surface abrasions, the infections can become quite serious if the bacteria enter the bloodstream and are allowed to permeate organs. These infections are usually the cases that are most severe and can result in death if not treated in time
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