As with hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other healthcare facilities which treat a large number of patients per day, one of the biggest concerns for nursing home residents is the risk of infection. Many nursing home residents already have weakened immune systems due to other health issues, so a bacterial infection can quickly become an immediate medical emergency. Frequently occurring infections or infections which are not property treated can be a sign of nursing home neglect or abuse.
Frequent Infections Could Be a Sign Your Loved One is Not Receiving Proper Care
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, the most frequent type of infection occurring in nursing homes is skin infection. Pressure ulcers or bedsores are a major issue for many nursing home residents. When an able-bodied person lays in a bed or sits in a chair, they are able to frequently shift their weight and avoid putting extensive pressure on certain body parts. However, a person with limited mobility cannot make such adjustments. Nursing home staff have an obligation to help residents avoid bedsores by frequently repositioning them. When bedsores are not treated, several life-threatening conditions can occur including cellulitis, septic arthritis, osteomyelitis, and even sepsis.
Untreated Urinary Tract Infections Can Be Extremely Dangerous for Sick and Elderly
Another common cause of infection in nursing homes is the use of urinary catheters. Nursing home residents frequently have medical conditions which make it nearly impossible for them to use the bathroom. In some situations, a catheter is required to help a resident relieve themselves. Unfortunately, the use of urinary catheters greatly increases the risk of bacteria entering the urinary tract and causing a bladder or kidney infection.
When left untreated, urinary tract infections (UTIs) can spread to the bloodstream and cause organ failure, sepsis, and even death. Although not all nursing home resident urinary infections are caused by nursing home neglect or abuse, frequent UTIs can be a red flag that a resident is not receiving adequate medical care. Nursing home staff have a duty of care to be watchful for signs of infection in residents and to treat these infections as soon as they are discovered. Staff should also be utilizing proper hygiene techniques in order to help prevent UTIs as much as possible.
Contact a Cook County Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Attorney
If your loved one has suffered due to poor care at a nursing home or other long-term care facility, contact Schwartz Injury Law to learn about your options for compensation. Call us today at 312-535-4625 for a free consultation with an experienced Chicago nursing home injury lawyer.