Every family wants the reassurance that their loved one will remain safe and supervised as a resident of a nursing home. Unfortunately, because of the close quarters that all residents of nursing homes experience, in some cases, serious infections and disease can spread rapidly. Nursing homes have a duty and responsibility to take precautions to ensure the safety of their residents from uncontrolled infectious outbreaks of viruses or diseases.
If your loved one experienced an infection or a disease as a result of a rapid outbreak in their nursing home, they might face substantial medical costs as well as pain and suffering. Consider contacting Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336 to learn how to receive compensation and justice for your family member by hiring a Jacksonville infections outbreak and disease lawyer.
Types of Infections and Diseases in Nursing Homes
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly three million infections occur in nursing homes every single year, resulting in 380,000 deaths annually.
While many elderly residents have a higher risk of developing infections or diseases simply due to their lowered immune systems, medications, and overall frailty, nursing homes have a responsibility to ensure that they provide the most hygienic and safe environment possible to prevent infection and disease outbreaks from occurring.
Some of the types of infections and diseases that occur in nursing homes include the following:
- Urinary tract infections
- Respiratory infections
- Staph infections
- MRSA infections
- Gastrointestinal infections
- Skin/soft tissue infections (bedsores or pressure ulcers)
While these are examples of infections and diseases that occur in nursing homes, many other different types of infections and diseases may also occur. Nursing homes have a responsibility and a legal duty to attempt to prevent any type of outbreak of infections or disease from spreading within their facility.
Increased Risk of Infections and Diseases in Nursing Homes
Nursing homes have many residents with lowered immune systems and frail bodies in a small area occupying the same space. The environment of a nursing home remains unique in its ability to quickly spread infections due to the following reasons:
- Elderly residents have weaker immune systems, medical conditions, or pre-existing illnesses that make them more susceptible to developing infections or contracting diseases.
- Elderly residents in nursing homes inherently live immediately next to other residents and share common spaces, creating an environment in which diseases and infections easily spread.
- Elderly residents of nursing homes remain more at risk of contracting diseases and infections from guests and visitors that come to the nursing home.
- Residents of nursing homes use the same bathroom facilities on certain occasions and share the same air, food, water, and common areas.
- The elderly have reduced responsiveness to vaccinations that may prevent infections and diseases.
- Nursing home residents often use catheters or feeding tubes that can breed bacteria, causing infections.
Because nursing homes have unique factors that can increase the risk of nursing home residents to contract infections and diseases, they must take extreme measures to ensure the safety and health of all of their residents. They have to take additional precautions if one resident develops a disease or infection that has the potential to spread to others.
For a free legal consultation with a Infections Outbreak and Disease Lawyer serving Jacksonville, call (800) 794-0444
Procedures Nursing Homes Should Take to Prevent Infections and Diseases
According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), in the years 2013 through 2017, 82% of all nursing homes in the United States received at least one citation regarding their procedures dealing with infection control and prevention.
The following are certain procedures that all nursing homes have a legal obligation to follow in order to ensure the safety and health of all of their residents:
- Isolating any resident that develops an infection or disease capable of spreading to other residents
- Using PPE (personal protective equipment) in cases where infections or disease could spread rapidly, causing serious or life-threatening conditions, such as with COVID-19
- Continual screening and monitoring for infections and diseases
- Using proper hygiene throughout the nursing home, including washing hands and using hand sanitizer
- Making sure that common areas remain clean and hygienic, as well as areas of food preparation and restrooms
- Reducing visitation of guests and family when serious infections and diseases spread within the nursing home community
- Immediately addressing any infection and contacting both a medical professional as well as the family member of the resident
- Changing diapers, bed sheets, and clothing as often as necessary to ensure that no infections occur
- Ensuring that all guests and visitors of the nursing home facility always adhere to hygiene practices and established protocols
A nursing home’s failure to implement or follow these types of procedures can be a sign of nursing home neglect or abuse. If you believe that your elderly loved one suffered from an infection or disease as the result of a nursing home failing to follow protocols regarding prevention, learn how a Jacksonville infections outbreak and disease lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you understand all of your legal rights regarding your loved one.
Jacksonville Infections Outbreak and Disease Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Pintas & Mullins Can Help Your Elderly Loved One Receive Justice
If your loved one experienced an unnecessary infection or disease because of the lack of hygiene of disease control protocols in a nursing home, learn how a Jacksonville infections outbreak and disease lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help your loved one. We might be able to win you compensation for medical bills, as well as pain and suffering.
While no amount of compensation will ever replace their health, you have a right to receive compensation for your out-of-pocket expenses related to their negligence in handling an outbreak of infections or disease and ensure your family member receives justice for their pain and suffering. Call a member of our team today at (800) 842-6336.