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Have you ever been told you have a “staph infection”?

I talk to people daily about their experiences with hospital infections.  I spoke with a person at work who’s father had a “staph infection” for which he was treated for a very long time.  Then today I spoke with a cousin who’s father-in-law is dealing with a long term persistant “staph infection” that he got in a newly implanted knee.  He has had repeated surgeries and bouts of infection with long term antibiotics.  I have had  a “staph infection” in the past.  I had it in numerous bug bites when I was a kid.  I scratched and picked at them and I got Staph.  I had to take a simple antibiotic and wash them frequently and they cleared up.  Lots of people get staph, simple staph, that generally clears up with use of commonplace antibiotics.  But, when I hear these stories about repeated surgeries, removal of new joints, IV antibiotics, long term disability, rehab and nursing home stays, huge swelling at the site of infection, and persistance of infection, this is typically MRSA “Staph Infection”.  Why don’t doctors just SPIT IT OUT!  They do not want to tell their patients they have MRSA.  They dont want to disclose it because they are afraid.  Instead of outright honesty and accountability, they practice  a certain evasiveness.  They just don’t want to talk about it.  It is a failure.   Patients catch it while involved in the Healthcare system.  85% of all MRSA is Healtcare Associated.

So, if doctors won’t talk about it, how can we figure they will ever deal with it?   They just plain have to.  We can’t let them slide by with this slippery, secretive, evasive behavior.  They are responsible to US, not the other way around.  We hire doctors, hospitals and healthcare providers to do a job for US!  They need to disclose infections and the cause of them to us.  Then they need to educate us (patients) on how to stop the spread of it.  Otherwise this horror will get passed down the line to others…family members, friends, roommates in hospitals, caregivers etc.  My cousin asked how he and his wife could find out what caused the infection.  I told him to insist on it.  If the doctor refuses to talk about it then they need to get a copy of his records and the culture results will be in there.  If not, he is truly hiding something.  Most  importantly, doctors, hospitals and other HC workers need to prevent it in the first place.  It can be done and it must be done.

Sometimes I think that people just do not realize that healthcare providers including doctors are not diety.  They are imperfect human beings just like the rest of us………and they do make mistakes.  But, if they keep on making the same mistakes year after year and don’t acknowlege it, or deal with it and continue to be evasive with their patients……..I believe that is criminal.  They are employed to do a job…a very important job…for us every time we step foot in their offices, or a hospital to seek care.  “First do no harm” is their oath.  We  healthcare consumers need to hold them to it.

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