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Topic : 04/01 The Superbug

Number of Replies: 539
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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.

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March 1, 2008, 5:27 pm CST

The superbug

Quote From: dahhhhhhhh

I cannot begin to tell you the number of physicians and residents who have entered isolation rooms where MRSA patients are under droplet isolation or contact isolation,,work on the patient, then come out and say, "what kind of isolation is he under?".  It is clearly posted on the patient's door!


Dietary workers tend to do the same, as well as CNAs.  Imagine this scenario; dietary takes a tray of food into the patient, without properly gowning, masking, gloving and handwashing, then proceeds to touch every other patient's trays/dishes, eating utensils, etc. 

Worse yet, those same infected trays go back to the cafeteria and into the hands of workers or patients.


And, now there is a MRSA necrotizing pneumonia that eats the lung tissue of its victims, and is truly anti-biotic resistant.  You die from it within 36-72 hrs.  You all know how long it takes healthcare to diagnose such a disease,,,too long.

Given those facts, imagine how quickly it could wipe out a hospital full of already immunosuppressed patients were workers do not properly observe sanitary precautions to break the chain of infection.

I have to give a BIG AMENto the previous quote!

I became ill at the end of January, and ended up in the hospital. From the time I was admitted to the

emergency Room, to being in the hospital for several days, NO gowns or  masks were used. They were not sure of  what I had, and family members were allowed in. Even my 3 year old grandson.

  It wasn't until about the 3rd  day  that even a sign was posted on my doof.

  I was diagnosed with Influenza A, pneumonia, and MRSA.

  Needless to say, my family was exposed as well as workers.

   To copy a phrase from you DR Phil, " What were they thinkin'?"

    When I was in the E. R.  it was for 7 hours!  Exposing everyone around me.

  There have got to be some changes!

March 1, 2008, 7:47 pm CST

My child and MRSA

When my son was 3 months old, he had radical skull surgery at a well known childrens hospital.  When we got home a week later, we got a phone call informing us that he contracted MRSA.  At the time, they told us it was "nothing to worry about" and that it was incredibly "common" to have this.  However common they told us this was, they had to isolate him each time we came to subsequent check-ups to protect the other children who had compromised immune systems.  This was troubling to us, but we could never get anymore information from them regarding how this happened.  Then, several years later, the MRSA bug is headlining all the news, killing people.  My sons surgery was 4 years ago last month and we still struggle to get information from the hospital on how he contracted it, and what that means to us.  They are very vague, and somewhat ambivilent when we have questioned them.  We still don't know if he actually had MRSA or if he is considered a "carrier" only.  How do you protect your family and keep them healthy when you can't get help from the place your child contracted this infection?

March 1, 2008, 10:17 pm CST

"Woke Up out of Coma and Had this BUG!"

On January 2, 2006; I had three cardiac arrests and was in a coma for three weeks.  When I came out of my coma - I could not talk or walk.  I was in the Intensive Care Unit for another two weeks.  I ended up with a huge bed sore on my backside - I guess that was from not being turned over enough while I was in my coma?!  I am not sure?  After I was moved to another floor and I could finally talk - I pointed out to the doctor that I had a 'lump' on my left side just below my rib cage and that it was like a pimple and it hurt.  It was like it was 'poohed poohed' off!  I never in a million years thought that I would end up with this "Superbug" and nothing was ever explained to me about MRSA.  After three months in this hospital and two days afterI received my pacemaker surgery I signed myself out of the hospital because I just wanted to go home to be with my family who I hadn't seen in so long.  I rushed myself after my surgery and wound up in and out of the hospital here at home and learned from the Emergency staff here that I had this MRSA!  They were asking me if I had MRSA and I was absolutely clueless as to what they were talking about? I have never felt so alienated in my life - whenever I was admitted to the hospital I would be 'quarantined' and treated like a leper! Like I didn't have enough problems and diseases to deal with in my LIFE already and now I had something else added to my plate that nobody even bothered to inform me about or educate me on what I had? They just let me leave their facility? How stupid was that? I was there for weeks!  I am really grateful that I subrscribe to the Dr. Phil show - I find that his program is very helpful and informational - I am ever so grateful for everyone's comments and stories.  At least I have something to go on now and can research this further. I don't feel all alone anymore.  My prayers go out to those who are suffering with this fatal disease and for those who have lost someone.  I am no longer in pain with this anymore myself, and the lump has gone away, but I don't even know IF this MRSA does go away? I guess I will find my anwers in my research.  Thank you everybody for being there and listening to my story.

March 1, 2008, 11:30 pm CST

Superbug Death...sue them and don't back down!

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 am so very sorry to hear that you lost your husband this way.  I feel really bad for you and your young son. 

I lost my father during what I thought was a routine hospital stay, one week before my 11th birthday.  All I can say is talk to him about his feelings if he will open up, if not try to get him to open up.  Everyone grieves differently but know that was the turning point of my life.  I reached out for comfort, but I was literally pushed away and was told to back off,  because my mother was grieving and needed space and for me to be strong for her.   


I felt so invisible when my father died.  No one even noticed how badly I was taking it, and my mother was too wrapped up in her own pain to even talk to me or give me a hug or anything.  I cried myself to sleep for months...3 years went by and the only comfort I could find to deal with my loss was going though some of my fathers things and holding onto his memory.  I remember finding his last pack of cigarettes in a drawer, which included a half smoked one, so whenever I missed him I would take out that pack of smokes, stare at it and get lost in my grief.  Then on the anniversary of his death, one week before my 14th birthday, I took those smokes outside and I proceeded to smoke the half smoked one, just so I could be close to him again and share what was his.  Needless to say, I eventually ended up smoking his pack of stale cigarettes and became addicted.  My mother was in her own world, who would even notice me? 


I was devastated and still am...another birthday has just passed to remind me that he left me and I'm still alone.  Can you imagine, 38 years later, I can still remember the pain, so you need to be aware and vigilant with your son.  A sudden loss like this can be very traumatic to a child. 


I knew my father suffered with asthma and emphysema and partial paralysis, due to a stroke the year I was born, but I really had no idea how bad it was, after all I was only 10 years old.   

He was disabled and no longer able to work, so I helped him repair things and hold stuff for him while he fixed it.  I actually loved spending time with him after school and I would go with him everywhere to help with errands.  We were so close and  I learned so much from him.  Even though my brother was 14 months older than I am, he never hung out with our dad like I did, so I had a really tight bond with my father.  He didn't seem too saddened by dad's death either, he just seemed to move on with his life, his friends, his projects and being a mama's boy.


I'm not sure I ever really dealt with that issue and this is the first time I have shared this story with anyone.  I started crying uncontrollably while writing I think it was a good thing to write to you about your son.


I'm so sorry about your loss, sue the hospital and don't ever give up on your son. Good luck to  you.   


March 2, 2008, 5:02 am CST

MRSA , what it can do

My husband got sick in August of 2005.   He had diverticulitis.  Developed MRSA after the surgery, spent 9 weeks in the hospital and had to have a second surgery two weeks after the first, to powerwash his insides.  It had spread to his abdominal cavity, and had the surgeon not done this, he would have died.  Then it got in his blood.  He has had to have 6 surgerise in all, getting MRSA every time.  I nearly lost him 5times. The most recent surgery was 2 weeks ago.  We are holding our breath.  The surgery he had in September of 2006, ended up infected again, and had to be de-breided over and over again, until the hole in his abdomen was large enough to fit a honeydew melon.  Thank God for the person who invented the wound vac.  It took 4 months for his would to close.  He is alive thanks to his wonderful doctors and all the prayers that God answered.  Hospitals need to do more, I saw horrible disregard for rules while he was in the hospital over the last 2 1/2 years.  I could go on and on.  I'm happy to see Dr. Phil is doing this.  I have written  several times to request a show about MRSA, to let people know about it. 

Thanks Dr. Phil.

March 2, 2008, 5:33 am CST


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 can feel your emotion, that is one of the gifts God has given me, to identify with my brothers and sisters on this earth, while I am  here myself.

I have lost many that have been either close friends or family, and the loss can and still is at times, over whelming.

I take comfort in knowing that God can, and does hold my hand, and that , truly is the only good in me.  I believe in getting advice from a good counselor, if needed, and I am, at this time in my life, in order to deal with all of the losses that I repressed my sadness from.

I will pray that you become peaceful, and Jesus will guide you, about the lawsuit.  I am not a legalistic person, but I have had to have a lawyer, several times in my life, and am sure that I will need him again, for various reasons.  Only you know, deep inside, what will help, but I do know that my faith, and the help of my couselor, and also watching Dr Phil has helped me deal with my life, and my pain, as well as my growth.  I have money, to pay my bills, and not too much more, but I have my home, and my children, and I see that you, too are a good Mom, as you are considering your child, as well as your own thoughts.  I will pray for you.  Mary in OH

March 2, 2008, 6:10 am CST


I am sending this message on behalf of my husband.  This is what he wrote to the disability office which we still are fighting.


On January 13, around 6:00 pm, I was admitted to W*** Med due to pneumonia (as a result of punctured lung December, 2005). The Paramedics and Fire Department arrived and assessed my condition, my blood pressure was very high and breathing was unstable. I was given oxygen and also given benadryil for the allergic reaction that I was still having from the Vicodin. I was taken to theW*** Medical Emergency room via Rescue Squad and tests were done. At approximately 8:30 pm it was determined that my lungs were filling up with fluid. The Doctors put a chest tube in my left side to drain the fluid from the lungs. Shortly after this procedure was done, improvement was made. Once I was stabilized in the ER, I was then transferred to a room in the step down unit. I appeared to be doing better, but was very tired and had not had any good rest since I punctured my lung December (car accident). At approximately 12:30 the next morning, I was given some adavan to help rest. Shortly after receiving this medication, breathing became unstable, blood pressure went up and I started talking off the wall stuff. My nurse (Violet) called the doctor to let him know that my condition had deteriorated, that she believed I was having an allergic reaction to the adavan and felt that I should be moved to the intensive care unit. The doctor was not in agreement at this time; however around 3:00 am I was moved to the intensive care unit. While there, I was treated for pneumonia, blood clot to the leg, tear around the spleen, and was having issues with major organs throughout my body which resulted in me being intubated. Approximately two weeks into the ICU I had to have a trach inserted because breathing was still labored and I developed an Infection (which we later were told was MRSA) and was given Vancomycin. I stayed in ICU for approximately 4 weeks which most of that time was so heavily sedated that I slept all the time.

After I started to get some strength back, I was moved to a step down unit at W*** Med. At this time, I received all three therapies to help get back to some normalcy. My leg was monitored for nerve damage due to the lack of being positioned properly while in ICU. I was discharged fromW*** Med 02/22/2006. The direct result of the nerve damage to my leg was not told to us until much later when a Neurologist examined me. Because I had to be out of work for such a long period of time and they were not certain regarding my prognosis, I lost my job. We were not eligible for FMLA because I had not worked an entire year. My wife was forced to pay COBRA payments in order to maintain insurance which I so desperately needed. This was very expensive.

I went for therapy 10 times for strength training and help rejuvenate the nerves in my left leg. The therapist told me that I might never be at 100% with that leg. I was fitted for a leg brace and am required to wear it when I walk. I had to have assistance with a walker at first but now can walk with the brace without a walker.

April 17, 2006 I was again taken to Emergency Room at W*** Med for severe back pain. After several test, it was determined that I had an infection in my spine around the 8th and 9th vertebrae. This infection was the same one I had while in intensive care. I then had to undergo extensive IV therapy (antibiotics-Vancomycin) for six weeks to try to stop the source of the infection. The infection was MRSA which I obtained in the ICU atW*** Med. They thought the infection had gone away but it was either dormant or came back. I was being treated for the infection by Dr. Brenner at Raleigh Infection.

In May, I was sent back to W*** Med for severe back pain and it was then determined that although the infection had finally left my body, it had done considerable damage to the spine. This was the cause of the pain.

The orthopedic surgeon then scheduled me for Back Surgery and he did an infusion of the spine and took a rib out to help mend the back along with a metal brace. This was done June 24, 2006.

My job experience the majority of my adult life has been labor intensive. I have done heating/air conditioning, plumbing, carpentry, all around Maintenance. This is all I know. It was determined that I will not be able to do this type of work again. I cannot walk, stand or sit for long periods of time without significant pain in my back and leg. I am unable to engage in substantial gainful activity on a regular and continued basis. This prevents me from being able to engage in any type of work even if I could find anyone to hire me with my medical history. The MRSA infection had deteriorated my spine around the 8th and 9th vertebra which resulted in the surgery.

March 2, 2008, 6:39 am CST

The superbug...

Quote From: housewife52

MRSA-Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus....staph infection.  MRSA has been around for a while, but in the 1990s  a type of MRSA began showing up in the  wider community (other than hospitals), known as CA-MRSA(community associated MRSA) We have had it show up in schools here in SW VA and there have been several deaths in the past year or so. To me, it is a scary thing because sometimes it doesn't respond to treatment and death can result. I think we can have it on our skin or in our nose and not get sick, but possibly pass it on to someone else.  

With all that's happening in the world today, it's no surprise these viruses are on the rise. With global warming the weather changing patterns, you can't expect every thing to stay as it was when this has made such an impact. People who never had asthma, are now asthmatics, people with allergies, who never suffered from it before. Look at what's happening with all other deceases coming out of the wood work. Every thing is now discombobulated because of the destruction of our world, the birds are also confused and don't know which direction to turn any more. Now MRSA is out of the hospitas and into our homes.

March 2, 2008, 7:08 am CST


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.


Apart from hand washing, if you KNOW you have a MRSA infection or are colonized:


Cover cuts and scrapes


Avoid contact w other people's wounds/cuts


Avoid sharing personal items


Wipe down surface you come into contact with


Yes, it is true that you can be "colonized", or have MRSA on your skin/ up your nose and not even know it.  I think many people in the community don't even know they have it.  Some hospitals now screen for it upon admission, and do "terminal cleaning" after every patient (wiping down surfaces w disinfectant).  Patients do have close contact but usually MRSA pts are put into isolation during hospitalization.


According to the CDC (I'll give you a site), about 1% of the population is colonized with MRSA, so it's not common, but no one knows who that 1% is.  MRSA is very treatable with strong antibiotics.


Here's the site:


  It cause serious illness and death in immunocompromised and renal (dialysis) patients and can kill you if you don't get treatment.  But it is very treatable.

March 2, 2008, 9:01 am CST


MRSA a Superbug? It cannot be as I got it from someplace and no one knew it or what it was. Dr. Phil we are talking the Tampa V.A. on this one. I was sicker than a dog for a while and no one could figure out why. I had a spot on my leg (that looked like a spider bite they say) and at the time no one had a clue what they saw.

Will months down the road I finely got sick enough to end up in the hospital with a favor that came and went every night. I had a hard time breathing and could not get comfortable no matter what I did. What made matters worse was any physical exertion just plain hurt.

What happened in the hospital was a hoot! First I was in a regular ward with 4 other’s than they found out via a nose culture that I had MRSA. Well, it was like the 3 Stogies running around to get me put into an isolation room. So now comes the humor of it all, I spent the next 4 days in that room and the last 2 days of it was with a roomy. They ran every test in the world to try and find out what was making me sick. Did they find it you may ask? Ah nope! By the end of 4 days in isolation I can tell you what I do not have. No Cancer present, No Commutable Disease’s, nothing to make me sick! The exact answer I got was this: “We cannot find out why you are sick so we are sending you home”. Yes Dr. Phil they sent me home and do you know what I got other than my regular heart meds while in isolation? One Aspirin for a headache.

I had to make a appointment to see my regular Dr. about 14 days latter as it turns out and we went in to see him with a print out about MRSA from Web MD. Now web MD happened to have a photo of MRSA on a person’s leg  posted and I hope you can already guess; it was a dead on match for my leg! So my regular Doctor gave me a 10 day supply of a sulfa drug to attach the MRSA we believed we had. I went back to the Doctor in 20 days after the first visit and got a new 10 day supply. As of January 08 I was doing a bunch better and when I asked how come the folks upstairs did nothing for me when I was in isolation he said “hey I only answer to what I do”.

I have latter found out that 70% of the people have MRSA and that it is inactive in most people. I also found out that they do not check the nurseries because if they have it they could not go near patients. Sounds dumb but is a true statement in the real world. I have also talked with others who have lost limbs and that some have lost lives from MRSA. As for the V.A. not knowing what MRSA is to me is just plain crazy. Why do I say that you may ask; as while in isolation with MRSA they gave me nothing to get rid of it at all!!!!!! Nothing! They sent me home!!!! Get it?

I now understand there is something worse than MRSA out and about now; could this be true? Lastly; what we need is more food stuff that has been treated to get a better yield yes we do. Look to the food as the cause of some of the problems if you ask me.

I cannot make this stuff up as it is way too abstract not to be true!            


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