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Hospitals hide from bereaved families 1,000s of superbug deaths

Another tragic problem has been uncovered in the health care industry. It involves a pattern of patient deaths due to a drug-resistant bacterial infection that is passed on to the patients, who are often infants, while they are receiving treatment in hospitals, including some here in Southern California. The situation has reached critical mass in some places. In one hospital, according to a Reuters research team, a whole neonatal ward of about a dozen babies died before the infection had subsided.   

The problem goes deeper. The hospitals and doctors have been executing death certificates that do not mention the drug-resistant bacterial infection. Instead, most of them list a sepsis infection associated with whatever condition was being treated. In the case of the babies the incredible reason listed on the birth certificates was being born "premature." According to the Reuters report, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that about 23,000 people die each year from some 17 types of antibiotic-resistant diseases.

The CDC estimates another 15,000 die from a certain pathogen that is linked to long-term antibiotic use. Another aspect of the problem is that there is no nationwide standard for reporting and dealing with these rogue diseases. Each state currently is on its own with a hodgepodge of reporting procedures existing from state to state. California does not even require reporting of superbug deaths by hospitals, but it does apparently record the numbers of infections that occur.

The question of how to combat these infections exists alongside the issue of compensation for families who have been callously victimized by the hospitals and medical providers. They have carried out an intentional pattern of deception and false reporting both in California and nationwide. They have failed to warn families and give them a chance to choose another medical facility. It appears that a tort recovery is available in many of these cases. Those family members who have suffered the loss of a loved one will benefit by meeting with an experienced medical malpractice attorney to discuss options that may potentially be available.

Source: Huffington Post, "We Have No Idea How Many People Die From Superbug Infections", Ryan McNeill, Deborah J. Nelson and Yasmeen Abutaleb, Sept. 8, 2016

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