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Nursing Homes are a Hotbed of Infections, Which Increases the Risk of Wrongful Death

Steve Wagner

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that about 20% of the deaths that take place in the USA occur in nursing homes. While many of these deaths are due to natural or unavoidable causes, the fact remains that a good portion of these are wrongful death cases, brought on by the negligence or errors of nursing home staff.

A large cause for wrongful deaths in nursing homes is infections. With scores of sick patients, a nursing home is always a hotbed of different bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses. It takes extraordinary hygiene on the part of the nursing home staff, and thorough cleaning processes to protect residents from the spread of such infections and illness. When nursing homes are tight on money or when the staff is overworked or negligent, hygiene rituals and cleaning protocols can be easily overlooked.

The most common infection that strikes nursing home patients, especially the elderly, is Clostridium difficile, (C. difficile), a diarrheal infection. This infection alone causes around 14,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. About 75% of C. difficile cases first manifest in nursing home patients. On average, 30% of nursing home residents will get C. difficile when it breaks out in their environment.

Other common infections striking nursing home residents are:

  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MCSA).
  • Respiratory infections, such as pneumonia
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Skin and soft tissue infections, such as decubitus ulcers, infected vascular or diabetic foot ulcers, and other types of cellulites.
  • Scabies: which requires isolation, disposable gloves and sterilization to prevent the spread of scabies to other residents. Many nursing homes fall short in the practices of isolation and this infection can quickly spread.
  • Influenza
  • Bed sores or pressure ulcers. The CDC estimates that 159,000 US nursing home inmates suffer from bed sores. Stage IV bedsores run very deep and effect the muscles and bones, are almost always a result of medical negligence.

Wagner Reese has skilled nursing home attorneys who have decades of experience in substantiating nursing home neglect cases, and providing compensation to the families who have lost loved ones as a result of nursing home neglect. If you have lost a loved one due to negligence of this magnitude, or if someone you love has been seriously injured or affected emotionally by this type of negligence, contact us at (888) 204-8440 to get a free evaluation of your medical malpractice case.


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