Older adults living in nursing homes may be at a higher risk of contracting serious infections than other members of the population. Infections, especially when left untreated, can even cause death.
If your loved one suffered from an untreated infection, an Austin untreated infections lawyer might be able to help you hold their nursing home responsible. Your family member could be entitled to compensation for their suffering. To learn more about how Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is committed to helping victims of nursing home abuse and their families, call our offices at (800) 842-6336.
Nursing Home Residents Are More Prone to Infections
Because they are communal living environments, nursing homes are naturally more prone to the spread of infectious disease outbreaks. According to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), nearly 2 million infections occur in nursing homes every year in the United States. Additionally, nursing home residents are at a higher risk for developing an infection because of conditions common with aging, including:
● A natural reduction in the immune system
● The presence of multiple chronic health conditions
● Frequent stays in the hospital where infections are commonly picked up
● The frequent use of multiple courses of antibiotics
● Polypharmacy, or the use of multiple medications
● The use of catheters and feeding tubes
Infections and Nursing Home Abuse
Many factors that can contribute to infections also are signs of nursing home abuse. For example, polypharmacy is a dangerous practice that can indicate wrongful or improper medication use. Infections caused by catheters and feeding tubes could point to unsanitary conditions or practices.
Aging Health also cites malnutrition and poor hygiene as risk factors for infection. Both of these conditions are signs of abuse and neglect. Failing to recognize the symptoms of an infection and treat your loved one may, in itself, point to abuse or neglect. If you have any reason to believe your loved one suffers from neglect or abuse, reach out to Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to see if an Austin untreated infections lawyer is available to help with your case.
For a free legal consultation with a Untreated Infections Lawyer serving Austin, call (800) 842-6336
Infections Can Be Deadly
According to Infectious Disease Clinics of North America, gastrointestinal infections, skin and soft tissue infections, respiratory tract infections, and urinary tract infections are the most common types of infections in the elderly.
Gastrointestinal tract infections include conditions like C. difficile (C. diff), which can be caused by antibiotics. This type of infection can cause severe diarrhea that can lead to dehydration. Toxic megacolon is a complication from C. diff that, if not treated, can be fatal.
Skin infections can be fungal, viral, or bacterial. These types of infections may be more common in the elderly because aging can cause the skin to damage more easily and heal slower. Scabies is a contagious skin condition caused by mites that often spreads in nursing homes. The condition is painful and uncomfortable and can cause open wounds that may lead to more serious infections.
Soft-tissue infections can result from wounds and bruising. Bedsores, or pressure ulcers, are a type of soft tissue infection often seen in nursing home residents. Bedsores can cause infections that run through the tissue to the bone.
Respiratory tract infections include conditions like pneumonia, influenza, and tuberculosis (TB), all of which can be fatal. The nursing home has a responsibility to do what it can to prevent contagious diseases, like the flu and TB, from spreading.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be serious in older adults. When not treated, UTIs can result in permanent kidney damage.
One of the most life-threatening conditions caused by infections is sepsis. Sepsis can develop from untreated UTIs, pressure ulcers, and bacterial infections caused by catheters. Sepsis is an inflammation caused by the body’s reaction to an infection. It can result in organ failure and death.
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Negligent Nursing Homes Should Be Held Responsible
Your loved one’s caregivers are responsible for monitoring their health and making sure they receive medical treatment. Untreated infections can lead to hospitalization and expensive medical care. Your loved one is forced to endure potentially painful medical treatments, all while being moved in and out of their nursing home facility. Failing to treat an infection is unacceptable. Your loved one should be compensated for their damages and suffering.
An attorney can assist you in seeking financial awards to pay for your loved one’s medical bills. Above that, they can fight for non-economic damages to compensate your family member for their pain and suffering. You may also seek punitive damages to punish the nursing home for its wrongdoing.
Sadly, not every older adult recovers from an infection. If your loved one lost their life because of an untreated infection, you could sue the nursing home for their wrongful death.
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Abuse Is a Crime
You can seek justice for your loved one in civil court, but you should also report nursing home abuse to the authorities. Elder abuse is illegal. You can make a complaint and request an investigation of your loved one’s nursing home facility to local law enforcement or the Texas Department of Aging and Disabilities.
Texas also has mandatory reporting laws. This means that nursing home facilities and their employees are legally obligated to report allegations of abuse. Failure to report is a crime. Anyone who covers up suspected abuse may face criminal charges as well as civil penalties.
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Working with an Austin Untreated Infections Lawyer
The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm understands that a legal battle may be the last thing on your mind. You are probably wrestling with guilt and grief over your family member’s illness or passing.
You need to know you are not responsible for their suffering. Their suffering was caused by the people who neglected and abused them. We may be able to help you make them pay.
Our firm has more than 30 years of history serving victims. We want to help you fight for the awards you deserve. To learn more, call (800) 842-6336 for a no-cost consultation.