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Elliot Olsen is a nationally known Legionnaires lawyer who has regained millions for clients. If you or a family member are a Mount Carmel victim, you might have cause to file a Legionnaires lawsuit. Please call Elliot at (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.
The Mount Carmel victim who died of Legionnaires’ disease last Sunday has been identified as Deanna Rezes of Grove City, Ohio.
Rezes, 75, is the first fatality in the still-growing Legionnaires outbreak at the newly opened Mount Carmel Grove City hospital outside Columbus. That city’s Dispatch newspaper reported that an attorney for the victim’s family confirmed the identity.
The Dispatch reported that Rezes was admitted to Mount Carmel Grove City hospital on May 18 for breathing problems. She was readmitted on May 28 with flu-like symptoms, and then was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease on May 31.
At least 14 patients admitted to the 210-bed hospital, which only opened April 28, have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia caused by inhaling tiny water droplets (mist or vapor) containing Legionella bacteria. The outbreak first made headlines on May 31 when seven illnesses were announced.
Mount Carmel victim:
On that day, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) ordered Mount Carmel Grove City officials to “take immediate action to contain a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak.” The “rare adjudication order” by the ODH ordered hospital officials to take these steps:
- Flush all water lines and fixtures throughout the facility.
- Implement remediation practices to disinfect all water lines and fixtures of Legionella.
- Test and clean all ice machines.
- Ensure that the building’s two cooling towers are serviced and cleaned.
- Provide all test results to the ODH.
- Provide a water-management plan to the ODH.
Mount Carmel Grove City officials said that all of those water restrictions were implemented, and they should be removed by the ODH in the next few days.
Mount Carmel victim:
A 2015 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that “75 percent of (Legionnaires’ disease) acquired in health-care settings could be prevented with better water management.”
Hospital patients, too, are among the most susceptible to developing the disease, especially those who are 50 years old and older. Other groups of people at a higher risk of infection include patients with immune systems weakened by:
- frequent and recurrent pneumonia, bronchitis, meningitis, and infections of the sinuses, ear, and skin
- organ infection and inflammation
- blood disorders, such as anemia and low platelet counts
- digestive problems, such as nausea, cramping, appetite loss, and diarrhea
- delayed growth and development.
Also included on the list of people who are more likely to develop Legionnaires’ disease:
- anyone who has been a recipient of an organ transplant
- anyone on a specific drug protocol (such as corticosteroids)
After Legionnaires’ disease has been diagnosed, if one is not already in the hospital, then hospitalization is almost always required. In the most severe cases, complications – besides death – can include respiratory failure, kidney failure, or septic shock.
Mount Carmel victim:
The severity of the illness was illustrated in an Epidemiology & Infection study from the University of Minnesota. Based on data from the CDC and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), “approximately 9 percent of legionellosis cases, caused by waterborne Legionella bacteria, are fatal, and 40 percent require intensive care.”
CDC statistics show that an estimated 25,000 cases of pneumonia due to Legionella bacteria (scientific name: Legionella pneumophila) occur in the United States annually, but only 5,000 cases are reported because of the disease’s nonspecific symptoms. Those vague symptoms generally begin with:
- muscle aches
- chills and fever, which can be 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
By the second or third day, other symptoms often develop, including:
- coughing, which can produce mucus or blood
- shortness of breath (dyspnea)
- chest pains (pleurisy, or pleuritic chest pains)
- gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)
- confusion and other mental changes.
While Legionnaires’ disease primarily affects the lungs, it also can cause infections in wounds and elsewhere in the body, including the heart.
Legionnaires’ disease is a little-understood illness with which few in the legal profession have experience. Elliot Olsen is one of those few. You should contact him for a free consultation by filling out the following form and submitting it: