Can Nursing Home Negligence Lead to the Spread of Infections?

Nursing home negligence poses a significant threat to the health and well-being of residents, particularly in the context of infectious diseases. Infection control is paramount in any healthcare setting, but it becomes even more critical in nursing homes where residents often have weakened immune systems and underlying health conditions. Unfortunately, when nursing homes fail to prioritize infection control measures, they create an environment ripe for spreading infections. In these cases, families should contact a Virginia Beach nursing home neglect lawyer.

Poor Hygiene Practices

Nursing homes that do not enforce proper hand hygiene among staff and residents increase the risk of spreading infections. Failure to regularly wash hands, especially before and after patient contact or handling food, can facilitate the transmission of pathogens.

Inadequate Cleaning and Disinfection

Failure to maintain cleanliness in common areas, resident rooms, and medical equipment can create breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses. Infrequent cleaning or improper disinfection of surfaces and medical devices can allow pathogens to persist and infect vulnerable residents.

Understaffing and High Turnover

Nursing homes often struggle with staffing shortages and high turnover rates, which can compromise the quality of care provided. Understaffing can lead to rushed care, neglect of infection control protocols, and increased risk of cross-contamination between residents.

Lack of Infection Control Training

Nursing home staff may not receive adequate training on infection control practices, including proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and isolation precautions. Without proper training, staff may inadvertently spread infections by failing to take necessary precautions when caring for residents with contagious illnesses.

Inadequate Screening and Monitoring

Nursing homes may fail to properly screen visitors, staff, and new residents for symptoms of infectious diseases. Additionally, delays in identifying and isolating residents with infections can allow illnesses to spread unchecked throughout the facility.

Poor Communication and Coordination

Ineffective communication between staff members, departments, and external healthcare providers can hinder efforts to prevent and control infections. Lack of coordination can delay the implementation of infection control measures and prompt response to outbreaks.

Substandard Living Conditions

Nursing homes that are poorly maintained or overcrowded may increase the risk of infectious disease transmission. Inadequate ventilation, improper waste disposal, and unsanitary living conditions can spread infections among residents.

Failure to Follow Guidelines and Regulations

Nursing homes must adhere to strict guidelines and regulations set forth by regulatory agencies, such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Failure to comply with these guidelines can result in lapses in infection control practices and increase the likelihood of outbreaks.

Pursuing Legal Action

When a resident is a victim of nursing home neglect, families can pursue legal action if they believe that the care provided by the nursing home falls below the accepted standard, resulting in harm or injury to their loved one.

When pursuing a nursing home neglect lawsuit, plaintiffs typically seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and punitive damages. In some cases, nursing home neglect lawsuits may also seek injunctive relief to force the facility to implement changes to improve the quality of care and prevent future incidents of neglect or abuse.

To prevail in a nursing home neglect lawsuit, plaintiffs must demonstrate that the nursing home breached its duty of care to the resident, that this breach directly caused the resident’s injuries or harm, and that damages resulted from the negligence. This often requires gathering evidence such as medical records, witness statements, expert testimony, and documentation of the nursing home’s policies and procedures.

These lawsuits can be complex and challenging to litigate, particularly because residents may be elderly, frail, or suffering from cognitive impairments that make it difficult for them to advocate for themselves. This is why it is crucial to have a skilled nursing home neglect attorney advocating for you.

Call Our Personal Injury Law Firm Today

If your elderly loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact a Virginia nursing home abuse attorney to find out what legal recourse your family may have. At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, we have been aggressively advocating for victims for more than three decades and have helped many nursing home abuse victims receive compensation for their injuries, as well as hold the perpetrators who committed the abuse responsible, like the $300,000 arbitration award we obtained from one client who suffered fractured bones in a nursing home neglect case.

Contact our office today to set up a free and confidential consultation with one of our dedicated nursing home abuse attorneys today.