Safety and Health Reporter

Infections

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Infections

Brien Roche

Infections Can Be Good

In 1989 17,414 British school children were studied by an epidemiologist and he concluded from them that those who had grown up with more siblings and, thereby presumably more germs, were less likely to have allergies and eczema.

It is well-known to physicians and epidemiologists that our immune systems need bacteria and so-called “bugs”. Indeed many parts of our system function on bacteria; in particular the small intestines.

Through exposure to these types of antigens and infections early in life, the immune system learns what is harmful and what is not harmful and then can develop the necessary antibodies to fight any invading antigens that enter the body.

As reported in a Washington Post article of March 26, 2013, the prevalence of asthma and diseases of inflammation of the last 50 years suggest that our obsession with cleanliness may well be having an effect on the ability of all of us to fight off so-called “bad germs” or antigens.

As reported in the same Washington Post article there are studies that likewise suggest that growing up on a farm can protect children from allergies and other immune system-related conditions.  These studies however acknowledge that it is difficult to determine whether or not it is the presence of the farm that is having the beneficial effect or other factors.

A 2012 study did indicate that children that grow up on farms had significantly lower rates of asthma, hay fever and eczema.

Historically one of the diseases that has been most threatening to young children was that of Polio.  Polio is, at least in part, what is called a fecal-oral virus.  That is, feces somehow enters the body, typically through poor bathroom hygiene and then impacts the central nervous system resulting in either paralysis, respiratory difficulties or death.

Polio at one point in time was referred to as the “rich man’s disease” because the lower economic classes may have had poor bathroom hygiene, but their bodies quickly adapted to the polio invasion by developing antibodies or immunities to fight it off.  The wealthier classes however did not develop those antibodies and as a result, when someone within the upper social strata exercised poor bathroom hygiene thereby introducing fecal material to the body it sometimes had devastating results.  It is speculated that is the origin of Franklin Roosevelt’s polio.  He was a member of the upper class and his class was thought not to have developed the necessary antibodies to fight off the polio virus.

Although our current obsession with cleanliness is not necessarily to be shunned, it probably needs to be tempered with the recognition that it is not necessary to obtain an antibiotic every time someone has an infection and also the simple recognition that sometimes a little bit of dirt may be a good thing.  To some extent this philosophy can be incorporated into diet also in that yogurt which is filled with bacteria and is sometimes referred to as being a Probiotic has a very helpful effect in terms of replenishing bacteria in the intestines in particular after the bacteria has been destroyed through the use of antibiotics.  Keep in mind that when you take an antibiotic, that antibiotic kills not only the bacteria that is causing the particular infection, but may well kill all the bacteria in your system.  That bacteria needs to be replenished.  One way to do that is through the consumption of yogurt.

Sepsis Destroys Tissue

Sepsis destroys tissue.  Sepsis develops when chemicals are released into the bloodstream to fight off an infection and they set off inflammatory responses throughout the body.  As a result of those inflammatory responses there is damage and organ failure that may occur throughout the body.  The most common infections that set off the process are pneumonia and infections in the urinary tract, skin or gut.

There is no specific test for sepsis.  The symptoms can vary.  That means that it often is misdiagnosed.  Muhammad Ali and Jim Henson both died of sepsis.  Although that has brought some attention to the condition, much is still not known about it.  Classic symptoms of sepsis are decreased body temperature, elevated heart rate, high respiratory rate and white blood cell counts that either are too high or too low.

Sepsis destroys the tissue in the body thereby causing organ dysfunction.  As a result of that it can be fatal.

Sepsis Destroys Especially Among Young and Old.

Sepsis is most common among older people or the very young or those with compromised immune systems.  People that have been through chronic diseases such as AIDs or have had surgery are more susceptible to sepsis.

One of the biggest hurdles in terms of treating sepsis is first identifying it.  It must be identified quickly.  Because sepsis destroys, the condition can rapidly advance to septic shock where blood pressure drops so low that the blood simply cannot be pumped.

Aside from the above, the typical warning signs that may exist are either decreased temperature or increased temperature or low blood pressure.  If sepsis is suspected then one of the first things to do is to address the low blood pressure by administering fluids.  Ideally this will increase the pressure so the blood will circulate to all organs.  If the fluids do not accomplish the goal then it may be necessary to begin I.V. drugs to constrict the blood vessels and thereby raise the blood pressure.

Some of the more troubling symptoms may be a combination of intense pain and mental confusion that worsens very quickly.  All of these symptoms must be addressed quickly as the condition itself can be life-threatening.

Alarming Bacterial Infections

The Centers for Disease Control has announced that the bacteria known as Carbapenen-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae or also known as CRE, is a bacteria that was first seen on a wide-spread basis at the National Institute of Health where it killed seven (7) patients.  The bacteria is known to be resistant to all or nearly all antibiotics, it kills up to half of patients who get blood stream infections from it and the bacteria can transfer its antibiotic resistance to other bacteria thereby making them likewise untreatable.

A Washington Post article of March 6, 2013 reports that the Director of Centers for Disease Control considers the threat to be alarming.

During the first half of 2012 almost 200 hospitals and other medical care facilities treated at least one patient with this bacteria.  The particular bacteria in question is a family of more than 70 different bacteria including E. Coli that normally live in the digestive system.  Some of these bacteria over time have become resistant to antibiotics.

Most of these infections occur in patients who are receiving care for serious conditions in hospitals or other long-term care facilities.  These patients often have catheters or ventilators which allow the bacteria easy access into the patients’ bodies.

In addition the bacteria can spread from person to person or more importantly from healthcare provider to patient.

One of the dangers with the current healthcare protocol is that people are using antibiotics with such frequency that their overall efficacy across the community is becoming less and less.  That is in part responsible for the current scare in healthcare.

Urinary Infections

Urinary infections are the most common of all bacterial infections.  As many as 80% of women will get at least one such infection.  They can be caused by sexual activity, the use of certain spermicides, the use of diaphragms, the use of catheters and the presence of diabetes.

After age 50, men tend to get urinary infections at about the same rate as women.  It is the E. coli bacteria that is most often the culprit.

Symptoms may include a strong urge to urinate, pain during urination or cloudy or bloody urine.

Preventing Urinary Infections

A tactic to employ in order to prevent urinary infections is to drink plenty of water in order to flush the bacteria out of your system.  Another preventive measure to urinate when the urge arises.  Do not try to hold it in.  Getting the urine out of your system is good.  Finally urinating after sexual activity can likewise help flush out any bacteria that might have entered the urethra during intercourse.

Infection cases from the medical malpractice perspective are very difficult because the defense can present an impressive showing that the doctor or facility may have done everything right but the infection may still have taken hold. The plaintiff’s retort to that is the defendant’s conduct unnecessarily increased the patient’s exposure to infection and is the probable cause of this infection. This latter argument has some appeal to a jury in that the role of the health care provider is to not unnecessarily expose the patient to such risk.

For more information on sepsis, see the other pages on this site and see the pages on Wikipedia and for information on medical malpractice see the pages on this site.

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Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Infections

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Infections

Brien Roche

Infections Can Be Good

In 1989 17,414 British school children were studied by an epidemiologist and he concluded from them that those who had grown up with more siblings and, thereby presumably more germs, were less likely to have allergies and eczema.

It is well-known to physicians and epidemiologists that our immune systems need bacteria and so-called “bugs”. Indeed many parts of our system function on bacteria; in particular the small intestines.

Through exposure to these types of antigens and infections early in life, the immune system learns what is harmful and what is not harmful and then can develop the necessary antibodies to fight any invading antigens that enter the body.

As reported in a Washington Post article of March 26, 2013, the prevalence of asthma and diseases of inflammation of the last 50 years suggest that our obsession with cleanliness may well be having an effect on the ability of all of us to fight off so-called “bad germs” or antigens.

As reported in the same Washington Post article there are studies that likewise suggest that growing up on a farm can protect children from allergies and other immune system-related conditions.  These studies however acknowledge that it is difficult to determine whether or not it is the presence of the farm that is having the beneficial effect or other factors.

A 2012 study did indicate that children that grow up on farms had significantly lower rates of asthma, hay fever and eczema.

Historically one of the diseases that has been most threatening to young children was that of Polio.  Polio is, at least in part, what is called a fecal-oral virus.  That is, feces somehow enters the body, typically through poor bathroom hygiene and then impacts the central nervous system resulting in either paralysis, respiratory difficulties or death.

Polio at one point in time was referred to as the “rich man’s disease” because the lower economic classes may have had poor bathroom hygiene, but their bodies quickly adapted to the polio invasion by developing antibodies or immunities to fight it off.  The wealthier classes however did not develop those antibodies and as a result, when someone within the upper social strata exercised poor bathroom hygiene thereby introducing fecal material to the body it sometimes had devastating results.  It is speculated that is the origin of Franklin Roosevelt’s polio.  He was a member of the upper class and his class was thought not to have developed the necessary antibodies to fight off the polio virus.

Although our current obsession with cleanliness is not necessarily to be shunned, it probably needs to be tempered with the recognition that it is not necessary to obtain an antibiotic every time someone has an infection and also the simple recognition that sometimes a little bit of dirt may be a good thing.  To some extent this philosophy can be incorporated into diet also in that yogurt which is filled with bacteria and is sometimes referred to as being a Probiotic has a very helpful effect in terms of replenishing bacteria in the intestines in particular after the bacteria has been destroyed through the use of antibiotics.  Keep in mind that when you take an antibiotic, that antibiotic kills not only the bacteria that is causing the particular infection, but may well kill all the bacteria in your system.  That bacteria needs to be replenished.  One way to do that is through the consumption of yogurt.

Sepsis Destroys Tissue

Sepsis destroys tissue.  Sepsis develops when chemicals are released into the bloodstream to fight off an infection and they set off inflammatory responses throughout the body.  As a result of those inflammatory responses there is damage and organ failure that may occur throughout the body.  The most common infections that set off the process are pneumonia and infections in the urinary tract, skin or gut.

There is no specific test for sepsis.  The symptoms can vary.  That means that it often is misdiagnosed.  Muhammad Ali and Jim Henson both died of sepsis.  Although that has brought some attention to the condition, much is still not known about it.  Classic symptoms of sepsis are decreased body temperature, elevated heart rate, high respiratory rate and white blood cell counts that either are too high or too low.

Sepsis destroys the tissue in the body thereby causing organ dysfunction.  As a result of that it can be fatal.

Sepsis Destroys Especially Among Young and Old.

Sepsis is most common among older people or the very young or those with compromised immune systems.  People that have been through chronic diseases such as AIDs or have had surgery are more susceptible to sepsis.

One of the biggest hurdles in terms of treating sepsis is first identifying it.  It must be identified quickly.  Because sepsis destroys, the condition can rapidly advance to septic shock where blood pressure drops so low that the blood simply cannot be pumped.

Aside from the above, the typical warning signs that may exist are either decreased temperature or increased temperature or low blood pressure.  If sepsis is suspected then one of the first things to do is to address the low blood pressure by administering fluids.  Ideally this will increase the pressure so the blood will circulate to all organs.  If the fluids do not accomplish the goal then it may be necessary to begin I.V. drugs to constrict the blood vessels and thereby raise the blood pressure.

Some of the more troubling symptoms may be a combination of intense pain and mental confusion that worsens very quickly.  All of these symptoms must be addressed quickly as the condition itself can be life-threatening.

Alarming Bacterial Infections

The Centers for Disease Control has announced that the bacteria known as Carbapenen-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae or also known as CRE, is a bacteria that was first seen on a wide-spread basis at the National Institute of Health where it killed seven (7) patients.  The bacteria is known to be resistant to all or nearly all antibiotics, it kills up to half of patients who get blood stream infections from it and the bacteria can transfer its antibiotic resistance to other bacteria thereby making them likewise untreatable.

A Washington Post article of March 6, 2013 reports that the Director of Centers for Disease Control considers the threat to be alarming.

During the first half of 2012 almost 200 hospitals and other medical care facilities treated at least one patient with this bacteria.  The particular bacteria in question is a family of more than 70 different bacteria including E. Coli that normally live in the digestive system.  Some of these bacteria over time have become resistant to antibiotics.

Most of these infections occur in patients who are receiving care for serious conditions in hospitals or other long-term care facilities.  These patients often have catheters or ventilators which allow the bacteria easy access into the patients’ bodies.

In addition the bacteria can spread from person to person or more importantly from healthcare provider to patient.

One of the dangers with the current healthcare protocol is that people are using antibiotics with such frequency that their overall efficacy across the community is becoming less and less.  That is in part responsible for the current scare in healthcare.

Urinary Infections

Urinary infections are the most common of all bacterial infections.  As many as 80% of women will get at least one such infection.  They can be caused by sexual activity, the use of certain spermicides, the use of diaphragms, the use of catheters and the presence of diabetes.

After age 50, men tend to get urinary infections at about the same rate as women.  It is the E. coli bacteria that is most often the culprit.

Symptoms may include a strong urge to urinate, pain during urination or cloudy or bloody urine.

Preventing Urinary Infections

A tactic to employ in order to prevent urinary infections is to drink plenty of water in order to flush the bacteria out of your system.  Another preventive measure to urinate when the urge arises.  Do not try to hold it in.  Getting the urine out of your system is good.  Finally urinating after sexual activity can likewise help flush out any bacteria that might have entered the urethra during intercourse.

Infection cases from the medical malpractice perspective are very difficult because the defense can present an impressive showing that the doctor or facility may have done everything right but the infection may still have taken hold. The plaintiff’s retort to that is the defendant’s conduct unnecessarily increased the patient’s exposure to infection and is the probable cause of this infection. This latter argument has some appeal to a jury in that the role of the health care provider is to not unnecessarily expose the patient to such risk.

For more information on sepsis, see the other pages on this site and see the pages on Wikipedia and for information on medical malpractice see the pages on this site.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Contact Us For A Free Consultation