When you entrust your dependant and vulnerable loved one to a Miami nursing home, any signs of mistreatment are alarming. A nursing home’s failure to provide quality care for its residents can have dangerous consequences. One especially disturbing clue that your relative is not receiving adequate care is signs of untreated infections.
An elderly resident, completely dependent on others for their survival, must rely on attentive caretakers to meet the needs they cannot meet for themselves. Your loved one should be receiving:
- Proper nutrition and hydration
- Requisite medications
- Regular and sufficient hygiene care
- Clean clothes and linens
- Social and emotional stimulation
- Physical activity
- Repositioning, if they are bedridden
A Staff Member Could Be Liable for Your Loved One’s Untreated Infection
With the rate of infections and their spread within nursing homes, caretakers must be constantly aware of any illness signs. You should not have to worry about whether any wound, illness, or infection has been left to fester, grow, or worsen. Any nursing home that allows that to happen is grossly negligent. Speaking to a Miami untreated infections lawyer about your situation may help you determine if your loved one is being neglected or mistreated.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm wants to help you take action. All liable parties should be held accountable. You and your family deserve justice. Our team offers free consultations at (800) 842-6336. Give us the opportunity to hear about your loved one’s situation. We might be able to build a legal case for them. We work on a contingency-fee-basis, so you pay us nothing unless we win for your family.
Infections Resulting from Uncleanliness or Poor Hygiene Care
There are numerous types of infections that can occur in nursing homes. The consequences of any given infection depend on:
- The type of infection
- The speed of the infection’s progression
- Your loved one’s baseline health
- Available treatment
- When the nursing home begins treatment
Two of the most concerning questions about any untreated infection are where your loved one got the infection and why. Certain infections are introduced and spread throughout nursing homes because of improper hygiene care and lack of regular cleaning.
Areas prime for bacterial growth can quickly become infested with germs when not consistently disinfected. This explains the development and spread of many common bacterial infections throughout nursing homes.
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One such infection is pneumonia. Though not all pneumonia cases are attributable to poor hygiene care, nursing home residents who receive regular oral care have significantly less of a chance of developing pneumonia than those who do not. Because of their weakened immune systems, elderly patients have a much more difficult time fighting pneumonia to begin with.
Pneumonia can quickly turn fatal. The risk of this is much higher when the infection is not immediately treated. It is imperative that elderly residents receive proper hygiene and oral care and that nursing home staff knows how to recognize early signs of this disease.
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Streptococcus Staph Infection
Strep throat-a staph infection-often grows in dark, wet places not regularly disinfected. For that reason, sinks, baths, showers, toilets (any of which a resident may come in contact with daily) can be prime territory for strep to quickly multiply. Regularly deep cleaning these areas can prevent the bacteria from growing to an amount sufficient to cause infection. A nursing home following regulations and meeting cleanliness standards should not have an issue with this type of bacteria.
However, because the disease progresses so quickly, an infected individual can almost immediately become contagious. That is one reason nursing homes must be highly attentive to their residents’ health conditions. Not only will a resident infected with strep decline rapidly, but they will also spread the infection throughout the nursing home until they are treated. The individual will only stop spreading strep throat after 24 hours of antibiotic treatment.
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What You Need to Know About Bedsores
Bedridden and immobile patients must be moved or repositioned frequently to prevent bedsores from developing. Nursing homes are explicitly instructed and well aware of this fact and its urgency. Johns Hopkins states that it only takes two to three hours to develop a bedsore.
These dying skin areas can occur anywhere, but they often develop on a patient’s back, tailbone, or hips. As the tissue dies, the area becomes red, inflamed, and painful. With treatment, a facility can prevent a patient’s skin from rupturing. However, if left untreated, the swollen area may break open, posing a grave risk of infection.
Ruptured bedsores are extremely dangerous because they worsen frighteningly rapidly and take a long time to heal, sometimes up to a year. If left untreated for long periods of time, infected, ruptured bedsores can cause permanent damage to skin, bones, and muscles. They may also never heal.
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A Lawyer Can Help You Pursue Compensation for Bedsores
Suppose you suspect your immobile or bedridden loved one is not being repositioned as often as necessary. In that case, it may be a good idea to speak to a medical professional and a Miami untreated infections lawyer. These are some of the most dangerous infections because they can creep up within hours and go unnoticed for days, increasing infection risk.
Your loved one needs immediate medical attention, and the nursing home should be held accountable, whether the nursing home is negligent in:
- Not repositioning your loved one
- Not recognizing bedsores
- Failing to treat those they are aware of
Failure to Recognize Infections
An untreated infection may result from negligent nursing home staff who have failed to find or recognize the infection. If the condition is a rapidly progressing virus or bacteria, there could be devastating permanent consequences-even if the condition seems minor.
Attentive nursing home staff members understand the urgency of recognizing infections among their residents. Responsible staff members:
- Assess residents’ temperament frequently
- Notice when someone seems unusually tired
- Evaluate and respond to patient complaints of pain, fever, sore throat, etc.
If you believe your loved one is suffering (or has suffered) from an untreated infection, a Miami untreated infections lawyer may be able to provide guidance regarding how to proceed with a legal case. At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm we care for your family as if they were our own.
We are here to help. We offer free consultations at (800) 842-6336 if you would like to discuss your situation with us. We work on a contingency-fee-basis, so you do not pay us unless we win your case.