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Illinois Lawmakers Take Steps to Minimize Sepsis Infections in Nursing Homes

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

Illinois nursing home neglect attorneysNursing homes and hospitals are the places designed to care for the frail, sick, and elderly. Unfortunately, these places are also often hotbeds of infection. Sepsis infection, a particularly dangerous and often deadly condition, plagues nursing homes across the United States. When a nursing home resident develops sepsis, it is critical that they receive prompt and competent medical treatment. Tragically, many nursing homes do not give residents the medical care and compassion they need and deserve. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, make sure to educate yourself about this deadly condition.

Causes and Symptoms of Sepsis

Sepsis, also called septicemia, is a life-threatening condition that arises from the body’s response to an infection. When a person experiences an infection, their body sometimes responds by releasing certain chemicals into their bloodstream to fight off the infection. These chemicals can cause inflammatory responses which do substantial damage to the infected person’s bodily tissues and vital organs. If sepsis is not treated in time, septic shock, a condition in which the infected person’s blood pressure drops to fatally low levels, can develop. Septic shock usually leads to death. Symptoms of sepsis include a change in mental status, extremely low blood pressure, high respiratory rate, and high levels of lactic acid in the blood.

Proposed Illinois Bill Would Punish Dangerously Understaffed Nursing Homes

An investigation conducted by Kaiser Health News and the Chicago Tribune found that approximately 6,000 nursing home residents hospitalized in Illinois each year have sepsis. On average, one out of every five residents hospitalized for a sepsis infection pass away. Sepsis often develops in individuals who are bedridden as well as those with urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and other infections.

The investigation also uncovered some startling information regarding nursing home staffing issues. In the Chicago area, an unacceptable 78 percent of nursing homes are understaffed as compared to the rest of the country. Illinois law requires a minimum of 2.5 hours of daily one-on-one care for nursing home residents. The investigation into Illinois nursing homes found that 25 percent of Chicago-area facilities are not even meeting this meager standard.

In response to the study, a new bill was introduced to the Illinois State Senate earlier this year. The legislation look to hold nursing homes accountable for understaffing. Facilities would be subject to fines and public scrutiny for failing to adhere to the state’s daily care standard. With more staff able to care for patients, lawmakers are hopeful that incidents of sepsis would be reduced, along with other neglect-related problems. 

Contact a Cook County Nursing Home Injury Attorney

We expect nursing homes to give competent medical care and attention to our loved ones. When nursing home staff do not fulfill these responsibilities, the results can be deadly. If you have a loved one who suffered or passed away because of sepsis while staying in a nursing home, contact an experienced Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer. To schedule a free consultation with the skilled legal professionals at Schwartz Injury Law, call 312-535-4625 today.



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