Can Infections Be St. Louis Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect? You Betcha!

Understanding Nursing Home Infections:  St. Louis Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer Explains the Most Common Types

senior woman in wheelchair nursing home abuse and neglect st. louis

An infection is one of the most common ailments that a person have.  Sometimes infections are as simple as just a cold.  Other times an infection could be more serious like a wound infection, appendicitis, or meningitis.  In a nursing home, there are many different types of infections which commonly plague residents.  While some of these infections are unavoidable, other times these infections are due to reckless, careless, and negligent conduct by a Missouri nursing home staff.  Although you may think that most of these infections are due to wound care or pressure ulcers (also known as pressure sores or bed sores), research shows otherwise.  Our St. Louis nursing home neglect lawyer explains some of the most common types of nursing home infections and why they may be due to nursing home abuse and neglect. 

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is the most common infection in nursing homes according to government research.  The main reason is that there is widespread use of indwelling catheters in nursing homes or long term care facilities.  If a catheter is not properly cleaned or used, it could quickly result in an infection.  There are nursing home guidelines and standards which govern when catheters need to be cleaned and changed.

The research also indicates that residents in nursing homes with catheters may have other co-morbidities which make an infection more likely.  However, even though a patient is more likely to get a UTI, this does not mean that the standard of care for a nursing home is lowered.  In fact, when a nursing home staff knows a resident has an increased risk of developing an infection, the nursing must  exercise even better care to avoid complications due to UTIs for residents.

Anytime a resident suffers a serious injury or death from a urinary tract infection, a resident or family member should contact our  Missouri nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers because these types of infections are very preventable and damages could be significant, painful, and debilitating.  

Influenza

While influenza, or the flu, is very infectious, in a nursing home it is can be prevented.  Simple precautions such as vaccination and limiting exposure to infected individuals, as well as good hygiene and cleaning standards within a nursing home, can all combat influenza.  In fact, one study from the Journal of American Geriatrics Society found that annual flu shots significantly reduced nursing home resident hospitalizations and deaths over the course of a New Hampshire study.  Not only does the annual flu shot help protect residents from getting the flue,  it also shortened the severity and duration of a different strain of influenza.

However, when nursing homes fail to take precautions against the spread of influenza such as not washing hands between residents or not isolating residents who are sick a nursing home could actually help the spread of the flu throughout the facility.  If a widespread influenza outbreak happens in a nursing home or long term care facility and residents suffer serious injuries or even death, you might want to consider talking to  a St. Louis nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer.This is particularly true if any patients have died, which could actually constitute a wrongful death.

Pneumonia

Pneumonia is a serious problem in nursing homes and long term care facilities.  According to research, pneumonia is one of the most common infectious diseases in nursing homes and it is the highest cause of death in such facilities.  Staff in nursing homes need to be aware of this risk and ensure that residents are protected from damaging effects of pneumonia which could quickly become fatal.  This is particularly true of residents with feeding tubes and those who have suffered a recent fall resulting in a broken bone.  Residents on  each of which have a higher risk of pneumonia.

What most people don’t know is that elderly people who have broken a bone in a fall are at substantial risk to develop pneumonia which results in their death. It cannot be overstated how important it is for nursing homes to carefully monitor residents who have recently broken a bone.  Unfortunately, far too many nursing homes don’t place the emphasis on this issue as they should.

Anytime a resident suffers permanent damage from pneumonia, or if a resident dies due to pneumonia, please contact our local nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer to ensure that you and your family’s  rights are protected.

Injuries or Deaths from Infections in Nursing Homes Should Not Happen

If a resident of a nursing home, assisted living facility, long term care facility, or any other community care center suffers any permanent injuries or a wrongful death due to an infection, please call our St. Louis nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer by dialing (314) 334-1441 to schedule a FREE consultation.  We have over 18 years of experience in handling severe nursing home abuse, nursing home neglect, and nursing home malpractice cases throughout Missouri.