MRSA Infection Lawyers: Infant Infection Rates Rise

Harvey Kirk

By Harvey Kirk
Posted July 22, 2009


Although a growing number of experts are recognizing that most hospital MRSA infections can be prevented if certain preventative steps are followed by medical facilities, new research indicates that the number of newborn babies infected with antibacterial resistant “super bugs” has tripled over the last several years.

The medical malpractice lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. investigate potential hospital infection lawsuits throughout the United States for individuals injured by these largely preventable conditions.

MRSA, known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a difficult-to-treat infection in humans because it is resistant to a large group of antibiotics. In hospitals, where patients with a weakened immune system are at greater risk of infection than the general public, medical staff have a duty to follow proper sanitary procedures to reduce the risk of transferring the bacteria from patient to patient.

This month’s issue of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal contains a study on infant infection rates at hospital NICU (neonatal intensive care units) across the country. Since 1994, there has been a sharp increase in the rate of infant hospital infections, including a tripling of the number of MRSA infant infections.

Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) looked at data from the National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance system from 1995 through 2004. The data included 5.9 million patient-days of information. Analysis of the data found that the rate of late-onset MRSA infections increased from 0.7 percent in 1995 to 3.1 percent in 2004. That represents an increase of 308%. MRSA infections represented 23% of all infant NICU staph infections.

The study focused primarily on late-onset infections. These infections do not occur during the first three days after delivery, which can be attributed to transmission during labor and delivery. Instead, these infections are likely passed on to children from parents, hospital workers and other contacts with people and things during a hospital stay before release. The study found that most of the MRSA strains found in NICU infants were from strains mostly associated with hospital-acquired infections.

Because of the special nature of NICUs and the differences between infant and adult health care, the study’s researchers said new strategies may need to be developed in order to protect infants from hospital infections. CDC researchers concluded that the study indicates “a need to reinforce infection control recommendations and to explore potential sources and routes of transmission.”


There are more than 2 million hospital infections acquired each year, resulting in about 90,000 deaths annually. Another 1.5 million long term care and nursing home infections occur every year. Infections can also lead to chronic health conditions and permanent physical damage, including potential amputation of limbs to prevent the spread of the infection.

Experts suggest that when hospitals follow certain steps and protocols, the infection rate at a particular facility can be negligible. These protocols include frequent washing of hands, instruments and patient rooms. In addition, screening for latent infections in incoming patients can allow staff to take steps to prevent other hospital patients from becoming infected.

If your child or a family member has suffered from a hospital MRSA infection which resulted in serious injury or death, potential compensation may be available through a hospital malpractice lawsuit if staff failed to follow proper precautions to reduce the risk of infection. To review a potential claim with our hospital infection lawyers, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

4 Comments • Add Your Comments

  • susan says:

    check how many cases of mrsa the hospital has hasl. check your surgery spot mine was at the hip and came back to the hip two more times. do to being stiched on the inside and haveing strips over it . I didn’t have to return to the doctor for almost a month.the mrsa came on slowly and I got very weak..I found a on line book that is titled what Dr.don’t want you to know about mrsa I found colloidal silver. kills mrsa iits says in two seconds. mine did not come back and you can get it a health food store or shop . it is expensive ..but you can buy the machine to make it yourself . i BELIEVE IN IT.

    Posted on August 9, 2009 at 1:21 pm

  • Colvin says:

    Hi I live in Kansas City, Mo and i need help with a medical malpractice case involving a delay in diagnosis of my MRSA at a St. Lukes Hospital emergency room that nearly cost me my life. I have amassed 60,000. in medical bills and a deformed finger as a result of the emergency room doctor telling me to soak my hand in warm water 4 times a day for 30mins.and discharging me with a script of bactrim ds. I would appreciate your help.

    Posted on November 10, 2009 at 5:37 pm

  • anonymous says:

    Bactrim is a very basic antibiotic used to treat MRSA. However, you never fully get rid of it once you have it. Contact an infectious disease specialist immediately for treatment options.

    Posted on November 21, 2009 at 12:21 am

  • Davis says:

    I contracted mrsa in the hospital when I got my knee replaced as a result I had to have 5 different surgeries to save my leg and there is still a chance I may lose my leg. I would like to know what my recourse is I don’t know where to go .

    Posted on July 27, 2014 at 11:57 pm

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