How Poor Nursing Home Practices Lead to High Infection Rates

legal nurse consultantsYear after year, countless people rely on nursing homes to provide a high level of care for their elderly loved ones. Unfortunately, as we’ve explored in earlier posts, many nursing homes often fall short of these expectations. Worse yet, they frequently place their residents at risk of injury or illness. This month, we’re exploring how poor practices in nursing homes contribute to the spread of germs and infections among patients, and taking a look at just how prevalent these issues are across nursing homes in the U. S.

Infections are A Serious Threat to Nursing Home Residents

Elderly people need a higher level of proper care, cleanliness, and hygiene, as their immune systems are weakened and more easily compromised. This is further complicated by the fact that many older people are not always able to look after themselves. The close-knit nature of group living further complicates this issue, making it easy for infections to jump from host to host.

When nursing homes are short-staffed or find ways to cut corners, the residents are the first to suffer. Workers who are stretched too thin might neglect their cleaning duties, fail to properly follow up on patients who are currently infected, or lack the proper training to help keep the threat of infections at bay.

Every year, around 380,000 residents succumb to infections while living in a nursing home or other type of extended care facility. While residents are susceptible to a large array of potential infections, these three are by far the most common types of infections within this demographic.

  • Influenza
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Skin infections and bed sores

Holding Nursing Homes Accountable for the Spread of Infection

While not every infection can be attributed to negligence or a failure on the part of nursing homes, these institutions have a duty to maintain clean facilities that are free from dangerous bacteria and other potential hazards. When someone suspects that a nursing home is responsible for any infections or illnesses, or for the death of a loved one, he/she can pursue a lawsuit against those who are to blame.

Legal nurse consultants are highly skilled medical professionals who lend their expertise to attorneys and other legal professionals. In the case of nursing home infections, they act as investigators, analysts, strategists, and much more as they work to establish the facts of a given case. Using their medical knowledge, they can demonstrate how a nursing home failed in their duty of care, trace the source of infections and their effects, and generate/provide reports that serve as valuable evidence during litigation and other legal proceedings.

Want to learn more about nursing home infections? If you want to schedule a free consultation with one of our certified legal nurse consultants, be sure to give us a call at your earliest convenience. You can reach us at 877.211.7562.