Infections in Nursing Homes
Nursing facilities care for people in frail health who often have weakened immune systems. A patient’s compromised immunity might be due to a chronic health condition or the drugs he or she takes to manage a condition. Age can also lead to a slower immune response. Combined with the close living quarters in nursing facilities, these factors could lead a patient to develop an infection.
An infection could be deadly to a nursing home patient, so facilities must take strict measures to maintain hygiene and prevent the transmission of infectious diseases. Tragically, many facilities fail to protect residents from getting infections and do not respond with proper medical treatment.
Infections in nursing homes are a sign of negligence. If your loved one developed an infection in a local nursing home, you could take legal action against the facility that provided negligent care. Speak with a dedicated attorney at Tittle & Perlmuter to learn whether a lawsuit is a viable option in your specific case.
Nursing Homes Must Prevent Infection
Infections occur when bacteria enter the body and grow in the tissues. A healthy person’s immune system can often fight off an infection before it causes severe symptoms. In some cases, antibiotics are effective in controlling infections. However, people with aging or compromised immune systems might not be able to defeat infections on their own.
Patient care facilities must follow strict protocols to prevent patients from developing infections. The Ohio Administrative Code §3701-17-11 requires each facility to have an infection control protocol, including directives for staff to:
If a nursing home resident develops an infection, it is an indication that the facility’s infection control measures were inadequate. If the infection progresses and becomes sepsis, a potentially fatal condition, it could be evidence of nursing home abuse or neglect.
Residents Vulnerable to Infections
Any opening in the body is a potential pathway for bacteria to enter and cause an infection. Many elderly nursing home residents have open wounds, surgical incisions, catheters, or other openings that could become infected without proper care. The nursing home staff is responsible for monitoring the condition of any wounds or incisions to ensure they are clean and do not become infected.
Infections are potentially lethal for nursing home residents, so the facility must provide medical treatment immediately. Left untreated, the bacteria that caused the infection could enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body. In response, the resident could go into shock or suffer organ failure. This life-threatening condition is called sepsis.
If a nursing facility resident develops a severe infection or sepsis, the facility might have been negligent. A nursing home abuse attorney at our firm can investigate the circumstances surrounding a patient’s infection and work to claim damages on the patient’s behalf.
Seeking Compensation for Nursing Home Infections
Nursing homes are liable to pay damages when their negligence causes preventable suffering to residents. An infection, especially if it turns into sepsis, is evidence of nursing home neglect.
A patient could receive reimbursement for the medical treatment needed to treat the infection and other complications. Damages also could include money to compensate for the pain, inconvenience, and emotional turmoil suffered due to the infection. If the nursing home resident died from the infection, an attorney could bring a wrongful death claim against the facility.
Seek Damages for a Nursing Home Infection with an Attorney
If a nursing home did not take proper steps to prevent infection and your loved one suffered as a result, you have legal options for seeking justice. A hardworking lawyer at Tittle & Perlmuter can help you hold the facility accountable by bringing a civil claim.
Our legal team has experience handling cases involving infections in nursing homes. Learn more about how we can help seek justice for your loved one by calling us today for a free consultation.