Can I Sue a Nursing Home for Allowing my Loved One to Develop an Infection and Suffer a Wrongful Death?
Yes, you can bring a case against a nursing home for an infection-related death. In fact, nursing home acquired infection is one of the most common injuries resulting in lawsuits filed by our nursing home abuse attorneys.
If you have questions on a nursing home infection death, or the legal process, call our nursing home negligence law firm today. Our attorneys are narrowly focused on this field of law.
Call now for a free nursing home infection lawsuit consultation: 1-844-253-8919.
Common Diseases Resulting in a Nursing Home Infection Lawsuit
The attorneys at Senior Justice Law Firm commonly bring cases against nursing homes for the following infections:
- E. Coli
- Scabies or Bed Bugs
- the Flu
- Respiratory Infection / Severe Cough
- GI Infection causing Diarrhea or Vomiting
- Hepatitis A
- Staph infection
If your family member developed any of the above ailments inside a facility and subsequently was hospitalized or passed away, you should speak with our legal team right away.
Understanding the Liability Against a Nursing Home in an Infection Case
Many of our clients are surprised to learn that it is not necessarily negligent to allow a resident to develop an infection. In fact, nursing homes are breeding grounds for infection and bacteria. Elderly susceptible residents cycle in and out of nursing homes, coming from hospitals and other care facilities. This makes the facility rife with disease.
Nursing Homes Must Keep Patients Clean in order to Prevent Disease and Infection
A nursing home still has a legal duty to keep residents clean. If a nursing home fails to keep a patient bathed and clean of urine and feces, this can lead to a preventable infection. If this subsequent nursing home infection causes severe injury, prolonged hospitalization or wrongful death, the family can bring a nursing home infection lawsuit.
Regulations Require that Nursing Homes Quarantine Residents with Contagious Infection
Additionally, if a resident has a known contagious disease, such as MRSA or the flu, the nursing home should attempt to keep this resident isolated. This keeps other patients from getting sick and spreading the disease throughout the facility.
When under isolation or quarantine, you may have to enter a zipped plastic barrier to visit your loved one. You also may be asked to wear a special infection control suit, like the one photographed above. Although these measures seem extreme, they are required by the regulations in order to keep others from catching the disease.
Why is Good Infection Control So Important in a Nursing Home Setting?
Nursing homes are made up of an elderly, sickly patient population. Communicable disease can spread like wildfire in a nursing home. This is because patients have a weakened immune system and cannot fight infection the way most people can. Additionally, nursing home residents live in close quarters with other residents. They go to the same therapy room, eat in the same dining hall and attend social activities together. This all means that a contagious infection can quickly overcome a nursing home with a mere sneeze.
It is for this reason that most state laws require a nursing home to implement infection control and prevention measures.
10 Easy Ways a Nursing Home Can Prevent Resident Infection
- Keep residents clean and bathed regularly
- Changing incontinent residents diapers timely
- Contacting an outside doctor when signs and symptoms of infection first appear (without delay)
- Caretakers wear gloves when tending to residents
- Regular hand washing, of both staff and residents
- Isolation or quarantine for residents with contagious disease
- Wearing a protective gown, suit and/or mask when interacting with residents with infectious disease like MRSA
- Ensuring antibiotics are given as ordered
- Cleaning linens and bed sheets often
- Sanitary disposal of waste products
So What is a Nursing Home Legally Required to do to Prevent Infection?
First and foremost, a nursing home has a legal duty to keep residents clean. However, nursing home infection control goes way beyond good sanitation practices. When a nursing home detects infection, staff must begin working right away to contain the disease and treat the affected patients. Failure to implement proper infection control can result in wrongful death and a nursing home infection lawsuit.
Individual Resident Nursing Home Infection Deaths
Many of the nursing home infection cases we handle involve individual incidents of a resident suffering a wrongful death due to a nursing home infection. Let’s say a nursing home resident develops a fever and a cough. The family asks that the doctor examine the resident. However, a brief call is conducted and no real action is taken.
If that resident is allowed to sit in the facility while the infection festers, this is nursing home neglect. If that resident is later admitted to the hospital with MRSA, sepsis, UTI or some other life-threatening infection, his family should investigate a nursing home infection lawsuit. The legal theory behind the case would be that the nursing home failed to timely react when the resident exhibited signs of infection.
While this would be an isolated incident, our firm has handled many nursing home liability claims like this for failing to appropriately react to a resident’s obvious infection.
Facility Wide Infection in a Nursing Home
Sometimes, an entire nursing home will be shut down, isolated or quarantined due to a facility wide infection. This may be indicative of a greater problem at the nursing home relating to infection control. If an infectious diseases runs rampant through a nursing home, our attorneys usually inspect the facility-wide infection control policies. Typically, these were not followed appropriately.
Why Bring a Nursing Home Infection Lawsuit?
Bringing a claim on behalf of a victim suffering with a facility acquired infection is about justice.
Nursing homes and long term care facilities must abide by strict regulations. Frankly, these facilities receive millions of Medicare dollars, i.e. taxpayer dollars, to care for our elderly.
When a nursing home breaks the rules and fails to prevent infection, disease and sickness in its residents, action must be taken. Since money is the motivation for almost every nursing home corporation action, the civil justice system allows you to seek relief through a nursing home infection lawsuit. Even if the money means nothing to you and your family, it will hopefully dissuade the negligent nursing home from ignoring infection again.
Need proof that this monetary admonishment works to change bad nursing home behavior? Look at what state agencies do when they find nursing home deficiencies. They cite the nursing home and demand money damages for the facility’s failures.
Speak with a Lawyer Now About a Nursing Home Infection Death
Contact our firm today to speak with one of our attorneys, who is experienced in handling nursing home infection cases: 1-844-253-8919.