Nursing homes provide care for residents who need extra help caring for themselves. This assistance includes providing medical care regularly and as needed. When residents develop infections, the facility’s staff should treat them promptly. Failure to treat infections immediately can lead to long-term health problems. It is also a type of nursing home abuse and neglect.
If your loved one has an untreated infection in a nursing home, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation. You can hold the facility accountable for its negligent care of your loved one and pay for correcting the neglectful acts. You can consult a Newark untreated infections lawyer to see what legal options you can take. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 201-3999 for a free consultation with our legal team.
Causes of Untreated Infections
Infections in nursing homes are more common than you might think because facilities keep people with spreadable infections within proximity to each other, with limited ways of limiting exposure. The journal Aging Health describes the many common infections in nursing homes, which generally include:
- Pneumonia: Pneumonia is a lung infection that antibiotics can easily cure. It spreads quickly through communities because it spreads through airborne contact with bacteria. Left untreated, it can turn fatal.
- Urinary tract infections (UTI): UTIs are common due to the use of adult diapers, catheters, poor hygiene, ineffective self-care, and other factors that lead to problems in staying clean.
- Diarrheal diseases: When stomach acid production drops, there is an increased chance of a viral or bacterial infection in the intestines. These diseases can be challenging to treat and are more common in seniors.
- Soft-tissue infections: Poor hygiene can lead to skin and soft tissue infections. When nursing home staff neglect residents, this can lead to pressure ulcers (bedsores) and other skin infections.
Nursing homes should have infection treatment options readily available due to how often infections occur in these facilities. No one in the facility should go without treatment for long. Nursing homes should provide medical care to their residents as needed to address infections. When they fail to perform this duty, a Newark untreated infections lawyer can help you fight for justice and compensation. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to learn more.
Leaving infections untreated can have long-term effects on nursing home residents. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services tries to measure the long-term impacts on seniors. Its work shows that nursing home residents can generally expect to see degradation in their self-care skills over time. These infections can grow and lead to more severe illnesses, such as organ damage or failure. Some diseases, such as pneumonia, may not take long to become fatal.
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Perhaps the most significant danger of an untreated infection is its ability to spread to many other people. In a nursing home, infections can spread rapidly through the facility. It is even possible to become reinfected quickly after curing a disease. For seniors, repeated infections can weaken their immune systems, making each subsequent infection more dangerous. It is not enough to treat a single resident for an infection—the facility must treat everyone for the infection, so it will not continue to plague residents.
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Signs of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse is a growing problem in the United States. Seniors who live at nursing homes are at higher risk because of their vulnerability in many situations combined with problems at nursing homes, such as understaffing. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, you can watch for specific signs of abuse that include:
- Unexplained injuries
- Untreated medical issues
- Soiled clothing
- Body odor
- Poor hygiene
- Unexplained financial problems
- Changes in personality
- Social avoidance
- Rapid weight loss
- Rapid hair loss
This list does not cover every possible sign of elder abuse and nursing home neglect. If you begin to see any of these signs in your loved one, seek assistance immediately. Involve medical care providers and law enforcement to ensure your loved one’s safety. You also can report your suspicions to the state Department of Health. Finally, you can contact a nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss how to hold the facility accountable.
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Your Legal Rights
When you send your loved one to live at a nursing home, you have an expectation for the quality of care that they should receive. If they suffer from an untreated infection or other abuse or neglect, you have the right to sue the person and institution responsible to recover compensation for the following:
- Medical bills to treat the infection.
- Moving costs to another facility.
- Pain and suffering that your loved one experienced.
The compensation will help pay for the costs of getting your loved one the care that they need and hold the facility responsible for these problems.
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Statute of Limitations
Filing a personal injury lawsuit can be a big step, which is why many people want to take their time and move slowly. While this might seem like a good idea, you also want to consider that a statute of limitations applies to different types of lawsuits in every state.
A statute of limitations is a limit for how long you have to file a lawsuit. In most cases, that statute begins on either the day of an incident or when you discover that the incident caused a medical problem. New Jersey Rev Stat § 2a:14-2 sets the statute of limitations on personal injury cases involving nursing home abuse at two years. A Newark untreated infections lawyer can help you compile evidence and file your lawsuit before the deadline passes.
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Untreated infections can become a serious problem for someone living in a nursing home. Nursing homes should provide treatment in a timely manner, but that is not always the case, putting your loved one at risk for future health problems. In some cases, an untreated infection can turn fatal.
If your loved one suffered from an untreated infection in a nursing home facility, you could seek the advice of a Newark untreated infections lawyer to understand what your legal options are. You have the right to sue the care provider and the facility for negligence or abuse. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 201-3999 to discuss your case with our legal team. The consultation is free, and we only get paid if you win your case.