Infections and disease are an unfortunate part of life for everyone. For nursing home residents, the inherent close living quarters organically increase the chances of catching an infection or disease. Nursing home facilities and staff members are expected to be aware of the increased risk, well-versed in infection control techniques, and able to quickly respond to any signs of contagious diseases or illness.
If your loved one has contracted a disease or infection in a nursing home and you believe negligence to be the cause, a Fort Worth infections outbreak and disease lawyer can review the details of your case and outline your legal options. Call (800) 842-6336 to schedule a free consultation with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. Our nursing home lawyers have over 50 years of experience in representing victims of nursing home abuse. Our compassionate legal team will fight tirelessly for the rights of your family.
Infections and Disease in Elderly Populations
While the past several years certainly have seen a number of outbreaks and epidemics (SARS, EBOLA, COVID-19, and more), even less serious infections and diseases can create a dangerous living environment for nursing home residents if not immediately contained and treated.
American Family Physician (AAFP) regularly studies infectious diseases in those over the age of 65 and cites influenza, bacterial pneumonia, and urinary tract infections as the three most common infections in seniors. While mildly problematic for most individuals, infectious diseases account for one-third of all deaths in patients over the age of 65.
The journal Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses cites four main reasons for the rapid spread and increased risk of all infections in nursing homes:
- Overall frailty
- Shared, close living quarters
- Shared caregivers
- Opportunities for the introduction of pathogens from other facilities through staff members who work at multiple facilities
When it comes to infections and diseases, early detection and containment are critical. Unfortunately, both strategies prove especially difficult with elders in nursing homes. The fact that many of the typical early signs of these illnesses don’t appear in those over 65 makes early detection challenging while close living quarters and staff members that move from patient to patient pose containment problems. Nursing home facilities should be able to provide written documentation for the protocol for testing staff members for infectious diseases, monitoring and documenting all symptoms of illness within the resident community, and ensuring transparent communication both within the community and with family members.
Infections, Diseases, and Nursing Home Liability
Texas Administrative Code Rule 133.42 outlines nursing home patients’ rights. At its core lies the right to a “reasonable response to needs for treatment and services.” When it comes to infections and diseases within a nursing home community, this means ensuring the facility has the proper disease and infection protocol and treatment in place and that all staff members are trained in detecting early symptoms, addressing these symptoms promptly, diagnosing and treating rapidly, and preventing the spread of the infection.
For families of nursing home residents, recognizing the symptoms of disease and infections in your loved one is critical. If symptoms become apparent in your loved one or you witness symptoms in other residents, contact your loved one’s case manager and voice your concerns. If immediate action isn’t or hasn’t already been taken, consult with a Fort Worth infections outbreak and disease lawyer to determine if negligence is at play and whether you and your family may be able to seek financial compensation.
For a free legal consultation with a Fort Worth Infections Outbreak and Disease Lawyer serving Fort Worth, call (800) 794-0444
How a Fort Worth Infections Outbreak and Disease Lawyer Can Help
For nursing home residents, an outbreak of influenza, pneumonia, or another infectious disease can result in illness that requires extensive medical treatment, diminishes quality of life, shortens their lifespan, and ends in premature death. Nursing homes have a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of every resident. If they fail in this responsibility, the state of Texas can hold them legally liable for any associated illness, injury, or death.
Damages You May Be Able to Collect in a Negligence Claim:
- Medical Expenses: These can include general practitioner visits, emergency room visits, specialist visits, required tests and diagnostic procedures, surgeries, and rehabilitation services.
- Emotional Pain and Suffering: Pain and suffering includes any emotional distress that is the direct result of negligence on the part of your loved one’s nursing home provider.
- Loss of Wages: These include wages lost as a result of intervening on your loved one’s behalf, caring for your loved one, or as a result of the emotional turmoil their preventable illness has on you.
- Loss of Companionship, Funeral and Burial Expenses, and More: If an infectious disease takes the life of your loved one, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim and seek damages related to covering the expense of a proper burial.
If you believe your loved one is suffering from a preventable illness, a Fort Worth infections outbreak and disease lawyer can work with you to investigate the case, gather evidence, handle all communication with medical providers and nursing home personnel, and litigate for you in court if necessary.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has successfully resolved over 10,000 cases nationwide. We are dedicated to protecting the dignity of every nursing home resident and giving a voice to those who are often voiceless. A Fort Worth infections outbreak and disease lawyer will work with you to protect your loved one’s rights and fight for the compensation you deserve. We don’t collect a fee until you win. Call (800) 842-6336 for a free consultation today.