Medical Minute 11-29:

By: Vanessa Welch Email
By: Vanessa Welch Email

Seven year old Bryce has a healthy imagination and a love for dinosaurs. But the fact that he's healthy, or even here is a dream come true for his parents. One that began with their worst nightmare.

"It just happened to be his immune system was down when he touched something," said Katie Smith, Bryce's Mom.

Doctors first diagnosed the then 14-month-old with the flu, then pneumonia, but when his persistent cough and rapid breathing prompted a trip to the ER, an X-Ray revealed something no one expected.

"MRSA had actually eaten a hole through his lung."

Community acquired, antibiotic-resistant MRSA. No one knows how he got it. But, Bryce spent 40 days in a coma-fighting for his life.

"To see a little baby with 5 chest tubes coming out of him. It's just something you never want to go through," said Scott Smith, Bryce's dad.

Doctors say while overall cases of MRSA are down, other hospital-acquired bugs are increasing.

Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Klebsiella, those are the three worst players right now. We're running out of stuff to throw at them," said Brad Spellberg M.D., UCLA Infectious Disease Specialist.

Experts say the resistance is caused by overuse, or mis-use of antibiotics. Doctor Spellberg says the best ways to fight them is through better practices.

"Wash your hands, cook your food, live a healthy lifestyle."

And better policy.

"Find out where the infections are occurring."

For the Smiths, Bryce's brush with death is now just a memory.

"He's such a good kid. "


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