Sick with Legionnaires?
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Elliot Olsen is a nationally known Legionnaires lawyer who has regained millions for clients. If you or a family member contracted Legionnaires at a Chicago area hospital, you might have cause to file a lawsuit. Please call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced that it is investigating a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak of four cases associated with Advocate Christ Medical Center in the Chicago suburb of Oak Lawn. The outbreak is the third at a Chicago area hospital in three months.
In May, the IDPH investigated two Legionnaires cases at University of Chicago Medical Center, and in April, the IDHP examined two cases at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center.
Of the four cases at Advocate Christ Medical Center, three involved patients at the hospital, while one involved an employee. The incidents date to 2018, but two of the illnesses have occurred within the past two months, the IDPH said.
The IDPH said it is testing the hospital’s water, and Advocate Christ Medical Center officials said they are working with the IDPH on a water-management plan.
Outbreak at Chicago area hospital: patients at risk
A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2015 showed that “75 percent of (Legionnaires’ disease cases) acquired in health-care settings could be prevented with better water management.”
Most people exposed to Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease, do not get sick, but people 50 and older – especially those who smoke or have chronic lung conditions, such as COPD – are at a higher risk. Others more susceptible to infection include:
- organ-transplant recipients
- people on specific drug protocols, for instance, corticosteroids
Also on the list is anyone with an immune system compromised by:
- organ inflammation and infection
- frequent and recurrent pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus and ear infections, meningitis, or skin infections
- blood disorders, such as anemia or low platelet counts
- digestive problems, such as nausea, diarrhea, cramping, or appetite loss
- delayed growth and development.
After a diagnosis of Legionnaires’ disease, hospitalization is almost always required. In the most severe cases, complications can include respiratory failure, kidney failure, septic shock, and of course death.
Outbreak at Chicago area hospital: be wary
The IDPH recommends that patients, visitors to, or employees of Advocate Christ who are feeling pneumonia- or flu-like symptoms, should seek care from their health-care provider. Symptoms usually develop two to 10 days after exposure to Legionella bacteria and frequently begins with the following signs:
Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed by Legionnaires’ disease. You can contact him for a free consultation by filling out the following form and submitting it: