Message Boards

Topic : 04/01 The Superbug

Number of Replies: 539
New Messages This Week: 0
Last Reply On:
Created on : Friday, February 29, 2008, 01:21:15 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Could a grave danger be lurking in your home? If you believe the headlines, you know that catching the Superbug can have deadly consequences, but should you be concerned? How can you spot the danger, and what can you do to stay safe? Dr. Phil gets to the bottom of these questions and others. Melissa's son, Mark, was just 13 when he went to the hospital and wound up with MRSA, also known as the Superbug. Learn about Melissa’s tragic loss and why she thinks her son’s death could have been prevented. Then, 19-year-old Stephanie has been battling the Superbug for almost a year. Get a firsthand account of her experience with the disease, and find out what advice her doctor gave her that has Dr. Phil shocked and concerned. Even doctors aren’t immune to the Superbug. Dr. Drew O’Neal had an accident while on vacation, and what happened next changed his life forever. He shares his valuable insights as both doctor and patient. Plus, two years ago, Glen was your average sophomore playing on his high school football team -- until he contracted the Superbug right from the team’s locker room. Find out what important lessons he learned that could help protect you and your children from the disease. And renowned pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears weighs in with the latest information and shows off products to keep on hand that could save your life. Join the discussion.

Find out what happened on the show.

As of January, 2009, this message board will become "Read Only" and will be closed to further posting. Please join the NEW Dr. Phil Community to continue your discussions, personalize your message board experience, start a blog and meet new friends.

March 2, 2008, 10:34 am CST

03/07 The Superbug

Quote From: gwarrior6

 

Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus (MRSA) is fairly common in hospitals now and a small percentage (about 8% I believe) of hospital workers are colonized with it.  There are other variants of resistant bacteria such as Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and Vancomycin Resistant Staph Aureus (VRSA). Resistance is an inevitable result of developing and using antibiotics. 

 

It's always easier to blame somebody instead of dealing with your own grief.

You bet it is easy to blame someone! My Mother went in for back surgery and came out with MRSA. After 2 agonizing months, she died. She went in healthy and came out with a HOSPITAL aquired infection. I have learned that the hospital she was in has had several cases of MRSA. When you lose someone to this horrible infection, it is so unbelievable. Yes, it has been said that doctors have prescribed antibiotics too much. However, your comment seems very hard and cruel.
 
March 2, 2008, 10:36 am CST

God Bless You, Dr. Phil

I appreciate you covering the issue of MRSA.  I first encountered this nasty, life sucking bacteria following outpatient back surgery in 1998.  Four weeks following the surgery I was admitted to the hospital for more surgery to literally dig the infection out and placed on IV antibiotic therapy.  I am lucky to be alive but it never really ended.  I am still sick today, eight years later.  Knowledge is power and the more educated the public becomes on this issue, the better off we will all be. 
 
March 2, 2008, 11:11 am CST

Tort Reform...

Quote From: l8blmr54

   My husband passed way after complications from a hip replacement and then contracting MRSA last August.  Although he underwent seven weeks of antibiotic therapy, he still sucummed to the SUPERBUG.  The hospitals are rampant with this disease and ANYONE is subseptable to it, especially anyone in a weakened state.  The doctors, nurses and hospital staff that treated my husband tried to lessen the severity of this disease and actually assurred me that the MRSA had been arrested and took him off the antibiotics one week before his death.  An autopsy confimed that he died of infection.  I feel that the doctor was wrong to take my husband off the medicine.  I have consulted two attorneys that will help me take the doctors to court if I decide to sue, although they are positive that it will be a hard lawsuit to win against the doctors and hospital.  I am unsure of how to proceed.  I don't know if I can emotionally or financially handle a suit.  I also have an eleven year old son to consider.  I could use some advise and support.  Thanks!

 

I don't know what state you live in, but here we have a "Tort Reform" that puts a cap on the amount of punitive damages you can get from a lawsuit.  In some cases, it doesn't even cover the medical costs.  That's one thing to consider.

 

The tort reform was created to stop frivolous litigations.  People will sue hospitals, doctors, or nurses (whomever's pockets are deep enough, usually), haphazardly because of greed.  SO, that's why that's in place.  It also helps people practice medicine/nursing without fear of being sued every 5 seconds.  BUT it can be a speed bump in any legitimate suit.

 

 

 
March 2, 2008, 11:26 am CST

In addition...

Quote From: housewife52

Oops... I replied to a question about what is the Superbug, before I read your message. It seems like a scary staph infection to get because sometimes it seems to be untreatable in some people. Within the past year or so, it has been found in schools here in SW VA and there have been several deaths of young people. The news about it has kinda died down now. I'm sure it's still out there somewhere. As a matter of fact, is it true that we (me for example) can have it on our skin or in our nose and not get sick but pass it on to someone else? If that's the case what can we do other than wash our hands, to prevent passing it on to someone else? When it was found in schools here, the schools were shut down and throughly cleaned, with what, I don't know. I couldn't understand how that would get rid of it if it was on people and being passed from one person to another. The reason I am asking you is, I have seen in other messages that you are in the health care area and I think maybe you are more informed than some of the rest of us.(me anyway) During the time that it was in the news a lot around here, I became frightened and I wasn't sure exactly what I was frightened of, and what I could do about it.

 

I read over my 2nd paragraph, and wanted to clarify:

 

Yes, you can have MRSA and not get sick, but pass it on.

 

As for the cleaning, it will only get rid of the MRSA that's on surfaces (and not necessarily all of it).

It comes down to being hygenic.

 

MRSA seems to be more prevalent in crowded, dirty environments, among athletes and in prisons, also.

 

One reason why it's spread in hospitals is that it takes a day or two to get the results from a culture (which identifies MRSA), so that person has a couple of days of NOT being in isolation.  Also, even isolated patients occasionally have to "travel"down to different departments in the hospital,which can spread it.

 

I'd suggest that people who visit the hospital carry a little bottle of hand sanitizer, and use right before they get in the car to go home (to prevent the bacteria from getting on your steering wheel).  Even sanitizers are not enough.  When you get home, WASH your hands thoroughly.

 
March 2, 2008, 11:43 am CST

Been there to many times!!!!

I can assure you I am very aware of the "superbug". My first of many infections started the summer of 2007. A boil like pimple would come up and become a big sore that hurt worst than a normal sore.

I would take meds and clear it up. Several weeks later another would come up and I would visit the Dr. and be given more meds. I ask the Dr. why I kept getting this. He told me once it is in your system it is hard to get rid of. I went from June to Nov. with this going on often. In December 07, On Friday night  I noticed a small pimple under my arm down across from my breast. I got up Sat. morning went Christmas shopping and when I got home later that eve I was hurting so bad. I looked at the  pimple and there was redness across my breast and where the pimple was it was a large pone or knot-I had high fever and it hurt so bad to move my arm. I called my Dr. and he told me to come to the hospital-it was Christmas day so I waited. I went to my Dr. office on 12/26 and the minute he looked at this I was put into the hospital for 5 days and given the strongest antibiotics. I had surgery the next day to remove this big knot. They told me it would have never came to a head-instead it went inward and was starting to destroy the tissue of the skin. I now have a six inch scar there. I really think this would have killed me if I had let it go on. I have done fine with no more infections coming up. I pray the strong meds given me got rid of the infection in my body. This stuff is serious-don't let it linger. I am thankful to be here and it saddens me to see where someone has passed from this horrible infection.  Thanks to Dr. Phil for having shows like this to inform people. I will be watching this for sure. God Bless You, Marilyn from Arkansas.

 
March 2, 2008, 1:26 pm CST

One other thing I learned

One other thing I learned and that is this; MRSA is only deadly when it gets into the blood stream I have been told. As I said I was told 70% of the public have this bug but; it is inactive in most. I also learned you can wash your hands until the cows come home and you will not stop MRSA. Why you ask? Well for the most part the easiest place to find it is in your nose they tell me and you cannot wash the inside of your nose very well. So you may clean, wipe down or scrub till dooms day but reality says you must attach this bug all at once and not piecemeal. Once more the problem I’m told happens when it gets into the blood stream…. Otherwise it is no problem….  OK SURE!

 

 
March 2, 2008, 1:58 pm CST

Superbbug

March 2005 I had my right knee replace.  My surgery was successful.  After the hospital stay and  rehab I was sent home. On my first visit to my family physician after coming home I had a mishap and tore my patella tendon on the same knee.  After surgery to reattach the tendon I had phlebitis, then things went downhill fast.  I had a total of eight more surgeries after the 1st one.  Between the 2nd and 3rd surgeries they diagnosed me with (VRE) Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus.  If the 8th surgery hadn't help with a complication I was having they were going to take my leg off.  Thankfully the one problem started to slow down, and by the end of October it had stopped. I've never understood where I came in contact with the staff infection. My family and I ALWAYS encouraged everyone to take precaution about cross contamination. And I was always mindful for myself.  There were eight patients getting ready to have surgery around the same time.  The hospital had us all come in before surgery to inform us about procedures and answer any questions we had .  I was the only one to inquire about staff infections in the group. The told me only 2% will become infected.  My husband had been infected a couple years before, with a different staff so I knew a little about it.  I've never been so sick and in that much pain, depressed and scared.  I finally stopped having surgeries in June 2005.  I had a PIC line till middle of November.  I'm told that VRE never leaves your body.  That it can come back at any time.  And I know I will always be placed in a isolation if I have any hospital stay.  After my 2nd surgery I've never walked again.  They had to remove my artificial knee and the patella tendon.  Because of the infection aways being in me they can't put them back.  I have a type of concrete block in my knee to act as a spacer. I also opted not to have my leg fused straight.   I'm now in a wheelchair 24-7. 

I thank the Lord I had already retired.  I have figured out how to drive, I do our cooking, meet most of our needs with a little assistant from time to time. My hardest acceptance is not being able to do my arranges by my self.  But thankfully my husband is also retired and ready to help.

The support of my family and many, many prayers were and are inspiring and valuable to me.

And there were two sayings that helped me, hopefully they can help someone else. 

 "God promises a safe landing, but  not a calm passage."   and

 "If God brings you to it he will bring you through it."

 Oneof my prayers is that I can help someone else, if anyone needs to talk I'll answer back by email.

 

 

 

 
March 2, 2008, 6:21 pm CST

MRSA

September 2005  I was admitted to the hospital after I thought I only had the stomach flu. As it turned out, I had a hernia that my colon and small intestine became twisted up as it popped through the hernia. I was taken in to emergency surgery and woke up 4 days later in intensive care. The hospital claimed  I overdosed on morphine by pushing the pain button to much. Yea right. Those buttons are set up so you will not overdose. As I was in ICU, I developed a fever. I was given an antibiotic of some sort, my fever dropped and they put me in to an acute care room. My fever kept returning, they kept pumping antibiotics in to me and finally the surgeon decided my incision was infected and he had to remove all the staples or sutures and my wound would have to heal from the inside out, It had to have a wet to dry treatment, 4 times a day.

Infectious Disease doctor became involved but just ordered different antibiotics. After 3 weeks they decided to send me home, have a hospital bed put in my living room with an IV pole and have a nurse come to my home daily. One thing my family noted as I was being released, is the bottom of my feet were literally black. It caught their attention as they were filthy and I make it a routine to have my hands and feet cared for every 3 weeks.

I got home and got sicker and sick. My fever would go to 104 and they finally made me drive myself to the Infectious Disease Dr. Sure enough, the results were MRSA. There  was an area of my incision  that was black. So Vancomycin quickly became apart of my life, I did not recover from the mess for 4 months. It was a complete nightmare. Before I have surgery, I must have a bag of Vancomycin prior.

 

I feel some of the reasons for the spread of this dangerous disease is the un cleanliness and the traveling nurses. It was rare that I saw the same nurse twice.

 

Best of luck to all.

 

 

 
March 2, 2008, 6:26 pm CST

My Response...

Quote From: lucylu2

You bet it is easy to blame someone! My Mother went in for back surgery and came out with MRSA. After 2 agonizing months, she died. She went in healthy and came out with a HOSPITAL aquired infection. I have learned that the hospital she was in has had several cases of MRSA. When you lose someone to this horrible infection, it is so unbelievable. Yes, it has been said that doctors have prescribed antibiotics too much. However, your comment seems very hard and cruel.

 

The guest lost her son, and I understand that it's a very difficult loss (perhaps the MOST difficult).  Moms are the most difficult people to deal with in treating kids.  Then they want to sue, when nothing could have been done, which I believe increases healthcare costs to patients who are alive and can barely afford what treatments they do get.  If it's legit, fine, if not, I can't stand those people.

 

There was a mother at a local hospital who WOULD NOT let her son off life support (the baby was going to die regardless, but she dragged it on and on).  Here's an exerpt from the paper:

 

"The odd comment that I remember from this story is when I heard Catarina said, “I know he’s going to die. I just want him to die naturally.” Ok - so what did she think about how natural it was to keep him orally intubated and ventilated, loaded with medications to prevent seizures and infections, among others, nutrition fed through a tube, frequent respiratory treatments and procedures to keep his lungs clear of secretions, etc.

 

None of those things sound very natural to me. I dare say anyone that takes that much electricity to keep going is living entirely artificially, as we artificially provide ventilation and nutritional support and all the meticulous aspects of running the life support equipment.

 

Did you notice that the hospital’s response was to provide group counseling sessions to the staff twice a week to work through their hardships of delivering care to this boy, given his mother’s actions? What a telling sign that she was stressing the staff out and her influence personally and negatively influencing the nurses responsible for the management of care for all the other patients in the Pediatric ICU. Seems like a tragic misunderstanding and waste of resources to me. "

 

http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/blotter/entries/2007/05/19/emilio_gonzales_loses_battle.html

 

This mom reminded me of her for some reason. 

 
March 2, 2008, 8:09 pm CST

Superbug

Quote From: gwarrior6

 

I don't know what state you live in, but here we have a "Tort Reform" that puts a cap on the amount of punitive damages you can get from a lawsuit.  In some cases, it doesn't even cover the medical costs.  That's one thing to consider.

 

The tort reform was created to stop frivolous litigations.  People will sue hospitals, doctors, or nurses (whomever's pockets are deep enough, usually), haphazardly because of greed.  SO, that's why that's in place.  It also helps people practice medicine/nursing without fear of being sued every 5 seconds.  BUT it can be a speed bump in any legitimate suit.

 

 

I am from NC. The lawyers that I have consulted  with have told me that I must have my husband's medical records reviewed by state approved expert doctors that have agreed to testify, if necessary.  The experts have to determine that there is cause before a lawsuit can be filed.  I must pay out of pocket to have these experts review the files.  This could be $3000 -  $5000.  If the experts determine there is cause, I can then file a suit and undergo the stress and strain of the suit.  On the otherhand, if the experts determine there is no cause, I am out the money.  I don't have money to throw around, but I don't want my husband's doctors and hospital to cause even one other person to go through what my family has endured this year.  I have been advised to go out of state to find a lawyer to handle my case.  People have implied that the doctors, hospitals, malpractice insurance companies and lawyers are all "in bed together".  I don't know where to turn for advice and assistance.
 
First | Prev | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Next | Last