Nursing homes are particularly vulnerable to outbreaks of infections and other diseases. New residents, nursing home staff, visitors, and contractors working at the home can bring dangerous infections with disastrous consequences for residents.
The nursing home is responsible for curbing the spread of infections as far as possible with hygiene measures and established infection control protocols. Failing to do so and letting an infection such as influenza or coronavirus ravage through a nursing home can be considered nursing home neglect. Nursing home neglect is a crime.
If your loved one suffered the devastating consequences of a preventable infection or other disease, an Austin infections outbreak and disease lawyer can help you explore your legal options and you could recover compensation. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 842-6336 to find out whether you have a case.
Compensation Could Be Available
If you are able to hold a nursing home to account for your loved one’s injuries or death, you could potentially recover compensation for various costs and damages, including but not limited to:
- Hospital stays
- Outpatient visits
- Medical treatments and medications
- Rehabilitative therapies
- Loss of life quality
- Pain and suffering
- Burial expenses
- Loss of companionship
Infections and Diseases in Nursing Homes
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a number of serious infection outbreaks have been reported in long-term care facilities in the United States. Common infections in nursing homes include:
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Respiratory infections
- Skin infections
- Gastrointestinal infections
While a healthy young adult’s immune system can usually fight infections effectively, contracting influenza, pneumonia, or even a persistent skin infection can be fatal for the elderly in nursing homes. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) notes that compromised immune systems contribute to infectious diseases spreading in nursing homes. However, other factors play a role, including residents suffering from comorbid diseases and living in close quarters in nursing homes.
For a free legal consultation with a Infections Outbreak and Disease Lawyer serving Austin, call (800) 842-6336
Nursing Homes Can Prevent Infectious Disease Outbreaks
A nursing home is responsible for ensuring that residents are safe. This includes doing everything possible to prevent the spreading of any infections and diseases on the premises. Therefore, a nursing home should have established infection protocols and procedures. If there are no such protocols, or staff is not executing infection control effectively, the nursing home may be responsible for your damages and expenses.
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How Nursing Homes Prevent Disease Outbreaks
The CDC has published comprehensive guidelines regarding infection control in long-term care facilities. Nursing homes can implement a number of policies that could help to spread infections and other diseases, including:
- Stringent hand hygiene
- Isolating residents with infectious diseases
- Bathing and washing residents daily
- Changing diapers frequently
- Making sure residents wear clean clothing
- Cleaning and disinfecting all areas of the nursing home regularly
- Ensuring appropriate food hygiene procedures
- The use of personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves
- Ensuring sanitary conditions throughout the facility
- Suspending visits during an acute outbreak of infectious disease
Unfortunately, it can be extremely difficult to contain virulent infectious diseases, even when a nursing home takes all the right steps and precautions. However, if the staff ignores the infection control protocols, diseases can run rampant in a nursing home and potentially cause many preventable fatalities.
Tragically, we now know only too well what can happen if nursing home staff fails to contain a deadly virus. According to the New York Times, about 40% of all U.S. deaths from coronavirus have been linked to nursing homes.
It did not have to be this way. If your loved one passed away from an infectious disease outbreak such as coronavirus, in their nursing home, an Austin infections outbreak and disease lawyer may be able to help.
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The Nursing Home Is Responsible
A nursing home has ways of controlling infection outbreaks, and there are best practices that staff can follow. Good general hygiene and cleanliness as well as meticulous hand hygiene, are just some ways in which infectious diseases can be kept at bay.
However, not all nursing homes act in a prudent manner to prevent infections and diseases. There can be several ways in which a nursing home is negligent and responsible for an infectious disease outbreak, including but not limited to:
- Unqualified staff
- Lack of staff training
- No comprehensive infections protocol
- Lack of personal protective equipment
- Neglecting residents’ personal hygiene needs
- Not isolating those with infectious diseases
There can be other ways in which a nursing home could act negligently, such as not insisting on flu shots for all staff and residents. According to Texas Health and Human Services (HHS), all nursing home residents and staff in Texas should receive a flu shot.
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We Can Help You
Standing up against a nursing home can be an uphill struggle, especially when you are not familiar with the federal and state laws that govern Austin nursing homes. Nursing homes have to abide by strict laws and need to follow certain guidelines. If the nursing home violated guidelines and protocols, which led to your loved one’s illness, we could help you pursue justice and compensation.
Complicated nursing home claims can require a great deal of research as well as expert witness testimony. An Austin infections outbreak and disease lawyer can help with all aspects of your claim, including:
- Gathering compelling evidence to prove your case
- Calculating your damages and potential compensation
- Obtaining qualified expert witnesses
- Negotiating with the nursing home and insurances
- Pursuing a fair settlement
- Representing you passionately in a court of law
You do not have to try and fight a negligent nursing home by yourself. We can be with you every step of the way. At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm we work on a contingency basis for our clients, so there are no upfront attorney’s fees for you to pay.
Nursing home neglect is criminal as well as morally wrong. Let us help you fight for justice. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm now and speak to one of our team members about how you could receive compensation at (800) 842-6336.