Nursing homes have a poor history of preventing infection and illnesses in patients, and matters of health and safety are often overlooked. Typical nursing home issues involve understaffed facilities, poorly trained staff, abusive staff, patient neglect and overmedicated patients. Medical Experts are now concerned with the rise of nursing home infection injuries, some of which are claiming lives.
Candida auris, for example, is a highly contagious, drug-resistant fungus that has spread rapidly in some nursing homes in the United States. It is particularly deadly, with half of all patients dying within 90 days of diagnosis.
Drug-resistant infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are presenting a serious modern day public health problem, many of those cases spreading in hospitals and nursing homes. Many patients may carry fungal infections like C. auris without showing symptoms, particularly virulent in ventilated patients.
Joe Lyon is a nursing home attorney with experience engaging nursing homes in patient neglect and nursing home injury lawsuits.
Those close to the matter say the rise of drug-resistant infections involve the overuse of antibiotics and hospital-acquired infections. Public health experts say nursing homes, and poor care in long-term hospitals are a big factor too. Understaffing and the inability to properly care for patients leads to continuously cycling infected patients from place to place, infecting others.
Nursing homes often fail to enforce effective infection control. Thus, dangerous bacteria and fungi roam through the facilities, infecting many and causing nursing home infection injury. Drug-resistant germs of all kinds can survive and spread in hospitals and nursing homes, generally because of understaffed nursing homes and poor hygiene practices.
Some nursing homes even fail to take basic precautions like using hand sanitizer, disposable gowns and gloves. Other infection causes are a lack of warnings that patients are carrying an infection.
Antibiotics are less effective than in the past as some super germs have rebelled against the drugs meant to kill them. As some disease control agents are working to stop the spread of infection, some hospitals and nursing homes are understaffed and have limited resources to fight against infection.
Scientific research on nursing home infection and drug resistance is not what it ought to be. But a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases found that nursing home patients have very high rates of drug-resistant bacteria on their person. I turn, without knowing they are infected, they pass the germs onto other patients, nurses and loved ones.
The research found that 65 percent of nursing home residents in the area studied carried a drug-resistant germ. Other regions, including Ohio, are likely to be similar in scope.
Candida Auris, or C. auris, which is a fungus resistant to major medications. It was first identified in 2009 in Japan, and spread to the US in 2015. According to the C.D.C., over 1,500 people have been identified as carrying the germ without showing symptoms.
Nursing home staff have struggled to prevent the spread of such infection, largely because there has not been specific outbreak protocol in many facilities. Nursing Home infection cases have overwhelmed the system, and patients are the ones paying the consequences.
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The transition into a nursing home is difficult for both patients and their families. It is a sacrifice, and residents rely heavily on the compassion and competence of nursing home staff and management to provide the best care possible. When nursing homes fail to provide the professional care they promise, and injuries and deaths result, they may be held accountable by Ohio law.
Nursing home neglect has been a serious issue for decades now, and the management of facilities must be held accountable when instances of negligence affect your family.
If an Ohio nursing home fails to provide the professional care they have advertised, and patient injuries and deaths result, the companies may be held responsible in Ohio courts. Large settlements have resulted from the families of victims filing injury claims against Diversicare, Genesis, ManorCare and Laurel homes.
Nursing home neglect injuries may result from understaffing, underqualified staff, bad management and poor communication. Abuse and neglect can result in dangerous bedsores and other serious infections. Common types of nursing home abuse may include:
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates approximately 1,800 nursing home residents die from dangerous falls each year. Residents who survive falls may sustain hip or head injuries which can lead to permanent disabilities.
Because of the new surroundings and staff neglect, many newly admitted nursing home residents will suffer a fall shortly after their arrival. Understaffing is a big factor in these injuries, and the management of nursing homes have a responsibility to prevent falls and accidents.
Bedsores, also known as pressure sores, pressure ulcers, and skin lesions can be very painful and lead to more serious health problems if not treated promptly. Nursing home staff are well aware that patients confined to beds need to be turned regularly to reduce the risk of developing ulcers. However, when nursing homes are understaffed or fail to properly attend to residents, patients suffer the consequences.
Bedsores, also called decubitus ulcers, are injuries to skin and underlying tissue from prolonged skin pressure. Bedsores commonly develop on bony areas of the body, such as the heels, ankles, hips and tailbone. Common Contributing Factors for Bedsores:
People most at risk of bedsores have medical conditions that limit their ability to change positions on their own. Bedsores can develop quickly. Most sores heal with treatment, but some are more severe and lead to serious drug resistant infections. Other signs of nursing abuse include:
Bedsores are categorized into four stages, based on their depth, severity and other characteristics. They include:
A bedsore can advance quickly when patients do not receive proper treatment and care in a nursing home or assisted living center. There are various factors associated with developing bedsores, though most involve neglect, understaffing, overmedicating, a lack of nutritional care and patient immobility.
Nursing homes tend to settle out of court when accidents and wrongful deaths occur, and you may seek legal counsel to guide you through the legal process.
The elderly population in nursing homes and assisted living facilities frequently suffer injuries like bedsores due to understaffing and neglect. Some underlying issues that lead to dangerous skin ulcers include improper medication, a lack of supervision, malnutrition, inadequate wound care, and a delay in sending patients to medical centers and hospitals. These severe injuries are almost always preventable, and nursing homes have a duty to ensure that residents are kept safe and as healthy as possible. Nursing home neglect may lead to severe infection, amputations, and death.
Good quality care in nursing homes includes evaluating medical quality, nurse staff levels, sanitary conditions, and health inspection reports. Overall staffing appears to be a huge factor in the level of care provided. Residents need continual attention and reports aim to monitor the average hours a day a patient receives care from registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, licensed vocational nurses and certified nurse assistants.
In recent years, several Ohio nursing homes have faced personal injury claims for failing to protect residents.