Serious car accidents may leave you severely wounded and hospitalized for days. As if a car accident was not painful enough, your hospital stay may cause you to contract MRSA, a deadly bacterial infection. If you believe you contracted MRSA after your car accident, be sure to see a doctor as soon as possible. You may even have grounds to pursue compensation for your injuries, as well as damages related to your infection.
What is MRSA?
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are the result of antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria. The reason MRSA can be so deadly is that the staph bacteria that causes MRSA naturally colonize on our skin and inside our nose. Staph bacteria are essentially harmless until they enter wounds on the skin and cause a potentially deadly infection.
How do you contract MRSA?
MRSA infections are common in hospitals and other health care facilities, such as nursing homes. When MRSA occurs in these health care settings, the infection is known as hospital-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA). HA-MRSA is normally associated with certain invasive medical procedures and/or devices. Patients with a compromised immune system are at a higher risk of HA-MRSA.
There is a second form of MRSA, known as community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA). The infection typically spreads through skin-to-skin contact. People who live or work in crowded conditions, work with children, or play contact sports have a higher risk of CA-MRSA.
A car accident will not cause MRSA directly. However, accident victims may contract the infection if their accident landed them in the hospital.
The infection could spread through:
- Direct contact (e.g., with an infected patient, through germs on a medical professional)
- Indirect contact (e.g., dirty linens or towels)
- Surgery (e.g., the bacteria can enter the body through the wound or incision site)
What are the symptoms and effects of MRSA?
Many people may not associate MRSA infections with their car accident, especially because MRSA may not develop for days or even weeks. However, once the infection develops, it can be deadly.
If you have any of the following symptoms, see your doctor immediately.
- A red bump that may resemble a spider bite or pimple
- Warmness and/or pus around the infected area
- Shortness of breath
These symptoms may quickly turn into deep, painful abscesses requiring a surgical drainage. If untreated, MRSA can lead to:
- Urinary tract infections
- A potentially life-threatening infection in your bones, joints, blood stream, surgical wounds, lungs, or heart valves
How do I treat MRSA?
Because MRSA is largely antibiotic-resistant, you may need injections or IV drips of ultra strong antibiotics including:
To prevent the spread of infection to other patients or other parts of the body, medical providers may place you in isolation. They will also wear gloves and gowns and may need to wash their hands before, during, and after any procedures.
The mortality rate for MRSA is high, but if you catch the infection early enough, it increases your chances of survival.
Can I still work with MRSA?
While it is good practice to stay away from physical contact with others while you are infected, your life does not have to stop. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you will likely be able to continue working unless:
- Your medical provider tells you not to
- You have an active infection
- You are experiencing wound drainage or pus that you cannot contain with a bandage
- You cannot maintain good hygiene
- Your employment involves skin-to-skin contact
Can I recover compensation for MRSA from a car accident?
MRSA can be very expensive. Patients will likely require pricey treatments and may even need to be confined to an isolation room. These private rooms can run hundreds or even thousands of dollars a day. If you couple that with considerable pain and suffering and the lost wages from being stuck in the hospital, you could be looking at a significant financial burden. Even if you are able to work, you will still likely need to take time off to attend treatments.
Fortunately, you may be eligible to recover compensation for your accident and subsequent injuries. If you are able to prove that the other driver was negligent and that your MRSA infection was related to injuries caused by the negligent driver, you may be able to recover compensation.
Proving these two things may be difficult, but you do not have to do it alone. A Pennsylvania car accident attorney from Cordisco & Saile LLC can help you prove the driver was negligent by gathering evidence such as:
- Eyewitness statements
- Police report
Proving the infection stemmed from your car accident will be more difficult, but an attorney can help you establish the link via medical records and other evidence.
How do I get started?
If you or your loved one contracted MRSA after a car accident in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, speak to a lawyer. are here for you. Contact Cordisco & Saile LLC today at 215-486-8196 to schedule an initial consultation on your case.