Infections in St. Louis nursing homes can be extremely risky, as they impact some of the most medically vulnerable people in America. Furthermore, when a nursing home resident contracts an infection, the results can be expensive, debilitating, or even deadly.
The good news is that nursing home staff can take many steps to prevent infections from occurring. The bad news is that in far too many cases, they fail to do so. The worse news is that many infections that nursing home residents develop could have been prevented if the nursing home owners had more staff members on hand to meet the needs of the residents and provided better training.
If you or a loved one contracted an infection as a nursing home resident that resulted in serious injuries or wrongful death, the law can be used to pursue justice for your injuries. An established nursing home abuse lawyer could bring a claim for compensation on your behalf.
Risks and Causes of Infections
Any facility that houses a large number of people can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria—medical facilities and nursing homes especially. Many different types of bacteria may be present in these places, and when residents and staff do not take preventative measures this bacterium can spread quickly. As a result, it is quite common for infections in St. Louis nursing homes to occur.
Common risks and causes of nursing home infections include:
- Poor hygiene habits, especially hand-washing among staff and residents
- Residents or patients with IVs or feeding tubes
- Residents who have open wounds such as bed sores
- Poorly trained staff in violation of Title 19 of the Missouri Code of State Regulations §30-85.
- Facilities that are understaffed in violation of Title 42 of the Federal Code of Regulations §483.30
- Residents with other pre-existing medical problems
Nursing Home Negligence Can Lead to Infection
Nursing home employees inherently come into contact with germs over the course of their employment each day. As part of their job duties, they must wash their hands at several different times throughout the day—after using the restroom or after helping a resident using the restroom, before distributing medications, before and after dressing changes, before helping a resident eat, and at the beginning of their shift, just to name a few. A staff member not washing their hands at any of these points or several others throughout the day could be all it takes for dangerous and deadly germs to spread.
When a staff member fails to act in a manner that another prudent staff member with similar qualifications, training, and experience would act, they may be considered legally negligent. If a nursing assistant does not wash their hands prior to or after performing a task, their negligence may cause harm to a resident in the form of an infection. If this harm leads to severe injuries that cause damages such as the loss of life or serious injury, the resident and the facility could be held liable for their role in causing infections in a nursing home in St. Louis.
Get Legal Assistance with Infections in Long-Term Care Facilities
In some cases, infections can be unavoidable. In others, such as those that occur in nursing home settings, there are many actions that staff members can take to help decrease their rate of incidence. Unfortunately, far too often staff members are overworked and poorly trained and will go from one resident to another without washing their hands and transporting bacteria that causes infection with them.
When preventable infections in St. Louis nursing homes occur, residents and their families can reach out for legal assistance. A proactive nursing home abuse lawyer could review their case and help determine if negligence has occurred. Call the Terry Law Firm today at 314-878-9797 and set up an appointment to start reviewing your legal options.