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Deadly Fungal Outbreak Raises Questions About Medical Malpractice and Negligence

A deadly fungal outbreak at a Louisiana Hospital that occurred five years ago is now raising numerous legal issues and putting the spotlight on hospital practices and responsibilities when such tragedies occur.

According to reports, the deadly fungus was spread through the hospital as the result of contaminated bed linens. The outbreak has been linked to several deaths, including an infant who came in contact with the fungus in the neo-natal unit and a 13-year-old boy.

Without strict sanitary procedures or extensive bacterial testing and prevention, hospitals can become the ideal spot for bacteria to grow. The constant influx of sick, germ and bacteria carrying individuals can contribute greatly to introducing new strains of drug-resistant infective agents. It is also important to know that antibiotics are not effective against some strains of bacteria. Even bacteria that were once easily treatable can mutate to become resistant to antibiotics. These drug-resistant strains can then aggressively replicate at a dangerous fast rate.

If you believe that you or a loved one has been harmed by care you receive in the hospital, including a hospital acquired infection, we urge you to consult with a dedicated Los Angeles medical malpractice attorney who can answer your questions and determine your next steps.

Adding to the tragedy, the parents of these children did not find out from the hospital itself. In one instance, the parent learned of the outbreak and its connection to her son's death through a hospital report, another family learned of the link from an anonymous tip. In addition to traditional medical malpractice claims based on improper medical care, the families are also asserting general negligence claims, that exposing children with weakened immune systems to a deadly fungus was general negligence on the part of the hospital administration.

Children's Hospital last week publicly acknowledged that five children died during an 11-month outbreak in 2008 and 2009 of mucormycosis, a deadly infection caused by fungus found in dirt and decaying organic matter.

For more information, or if you believe that you or a loved one has been harmed by care you received in the hospital, we urge you to contact the top Los Angeles medical malpractice lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.



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