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Gastroenteritis in Nursing Home Patients Can Lead to Hospitalization and Death

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

Cook County Nursing Home Abuse LawyersNursing home residents are often elderly and physically frail, causing them to easily fall victim to diseases and illnesses which are non-threatening in otherwise healthy populations. Illinois nursing homes must meet a high standard of care to make sure that elderly residents are not subjected to conditions that could cause serious illness or death, and–if dangerous conditions are present in a nursing home–that residents are immediately treated. If your loved one has suffered or died from gastroenteritis or another serious infection, contact an Illinois nursing home neglect attorney right away. 

What is Gastroenteritis? 

Gastroenteritis is a serious condition caused by viral and bacterial infections that irritate the stomach and intestines and cause them to become inflamed. Nursing home residents are four times more likely to die from gastroenteritis and are generally infected after being exposed to another infected person or contaminated food or water. Symptoms of gastroenteritis include: 

  • Watery diarrhea

  • Stomach cramps

  • Fever

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting, including blood

  • Inability to keep down liquid

  • Dehydration

Gastroenteritis may be difficult to diagnose without careful medical supervision because these symptoms can be indicative of many other diseases. Tragically, there is no effective treatment for viral gastroenteritis, making prevention essential for elderly nursing home residents. Employees must be sure to wash their hands carefully and kitchen staff must take every possible measure to prevent food contamination and foodborne illnesses. 

Gastroenteritis Spreads and Worsens Easily in Nursing Homes 

One common way to tell whether a nursing home resident is suffering from gastroenteritis because of negligence or abuse at the hands of nursing home staff is whether other residents are suffering from similar symptoms at the same time. Close residential living conditions and common nursing home staffing problems such as undertrained and overworked staff can contribute to an outbreak of the virus of bacteria that is causing a particular rash of gastroenteritis cases. Gastroenteritis cases may be worsened by staff who overuse laxatives, distribute medication incorrectly, or feed residents an improper diet that does not allow residents to recover from dehydration or rebuild their healthy gut bacteria.  

Meet with a Cook County Nursing Home Injury Lawyer

Finding out your loved one has suffered from an avoidable but serious, painful gastrointestinal condition can cause you to feel any number of difficult emotions as you struggle to decide what to do next. At Schwartz Injury Law, we are here to offer legal counsel and support as you navigate your legal options. Schedule a free consultation with our Chicago nursing home injury attorneys by calling us today at 312-535-4625

 

Sources: 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/viral-gastroenteritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20378847

https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/12/e010161

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