Norine Zazzara, 81, was scheduled for a routine heart procedure at St. Joseph’s Hospital. The treatment was a simple shot of a diuretic to treat her swollen legs. Norine also had Type 2 diabetes, dementia, and a pacemaker to regulate a cardiac arrhythmia. She was treated and discharged that same day, but the rehabilitation center she was scheduled to be released to would not yet admit her. This extended her stay at the hospital. Three days later she went into respiratory arrest and had a fever of 104 °F. They immediately started testing her for infections. The medical team at the hospital deduced that she had MRSA, which is a highly resistant form of bacteria that is possibly fatal to those with weakened immune systems. Norine died shortly after she had slipped into a coma and was placed on a ventilator.
There is no sure fired way to prove exactly how Norine was infected, but the truth is that she was not infected before she was in the hospital. There are many ways that she could have been infected. It could have been as simple as physicians or staff not properly washing their hands. The CDC found 1.7 million people per year contract illnesses while they are in the hospital. Infection possibilities will always exist in hospitals, but the number of yearly infections from hospital stays is too high to be ignored.
If you or a loved one was injured or harmed by negligence of a North Carolina (NC) hospital or doctor, please call us toll free at (800) 752-0042. Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys are ready to talk to you immediately to see if you have a case we can help with.