Infections in Nursing Homes: What You Need to Know
As Americans age, they and their families must often face the difficult decision of how best to provide care later in life. For many families, the best option is long term care facilities (LTCs) where the elderly individual is provided with easy access to supervision, medical care, and safe socialization. LTCs include nursing homes, intermediate care facilities, and assisted living facilities. These facilities are governed by applicable state and federal laws, including specific protection for elderly residents from the threat of abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, laws and guidelines cannot account for the actions of every individual within LTCs, or the negligence of administrators or managers.
Example of Dangers of Infections in Nursing Homes
Recently, a devastating case out of Illinois has drawn attention to the issue of infections in nursing homes and nursing facilities - an issue that is a real concern all across the United States. The recent story alleges malpractice among the staff at an Oak Park facility in their treatment of a resident's wounds. According to reports, the resident suffered from deep tissue wounds to her buttocks, sacrum, and hip in late 2013 and early 2014.
Despite treatment, the woman's wounds continued to worsen before becoming infected, which resulted in her death in March 2014. The woman's daughter has filed a lawsuit claiming malpractice against the facility and the hospital where her mother was treated. The lawsuit seeks over $50,000 in damages.
Laws and Guidelines
Every state has specific laws and guidelines that LTCs must follow when providing care to residents. One of the fundamental rights of all LTC residents and hospital patients is access to proper medical care and treatment. This includes complying with health and safety standards, providing properly trained staff, and seeking medical attention when needed.
42 CFR §483.25 is a federal guideline which directly addresses pressure sores and wounds in nursing homes, including the requirement to "provide the necessary treatment and services to promote healing, prevent infection, and prevent new sores from developing". In addition to federal guidelines, every state has similar laws and standards designed to protect LTC residents.
How to Get Help
It can be confusing trying to understand federal and state laws and guidelines. It is even more so when there has been an injury or loss of life and your family is grieving. The best way to make sense of your situation is to get help. Contact an attorney who is skilled in nursing home abuse and applicable laws to learn more about your family's rights. If it is discovered that you or a loved one has suffered from abuse or negligence, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit in pursuit of recovery for your losses. Infections in nursing homes is a serious concern. Do not wait to get the help you need.
This blog post was submitted by Charles D. Brown, an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Houston, TX. Please click here to view his profile.