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Understaffing in Nursing Homes Can Lead to Higher Rates of Infectious Disease

Dangerous Disease Risks Heighten as Nursing Homes Serve More Residents With Less Staffing

It is estimated by the National Institutes for Health (NIH) that nursing home medical staff treat over 2 million resident infections and related diseases each year in the U.S. Because of its nature, care facilities like skilled nursing homes or long-term care settings are places prime for infectious diseases to spread easily since patients share spaces and depend on others for daily hygiene tasks. That care often goes neglected when facilities are understaffed, or care workers are overburdened. With 5.3 million people requiring nursing home or long-term care by 2030, a substantially higher risk of people acquiring more of new infections and serious health complications because of lack of skilled care workers is expected.

Infectious Disease Complications for Nursing Home Residents

Many disease-related complications come when a resident has been neglected. Complications mostly affect people who are 65 and older who have underlying illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes or lung disease. There are three common infection-related complications in this group of elderly individuals.

  1. Pneumonia: An infection that causes the small air sacs of the lungs to fill with fluid or pus. Though this is the most common route to death.
  2. Sepsis: Sepsis is a serious medical condition which is characterized by inflammation that is spread throughout the entire body. Sepsis happens as a result of a severe infection. According to health officials, there are four types of infections that are often linked with sepsis including: lungs (pneumonia), kidney (urinary tract infection), skin and gut. There is no single symptom of sepsis.
  3. Cardiac issues: Chances of a heart attack or stroke are increased during any infection.

The CDC suggest all nursing home facilities have an infectious disease strategy and illness outbreak prevention plan. But just as important is the plan be carried out by fully trained and accounted for staff. Any shortages in staff to prevent diseases from spreading could leave facilities accountable for infectious disease-related deaths.

If a loved one has sustained serious illness resulting from neglect or a fail in preventative care at a nursing home due to dangerously low staffing levels, they may be entitled to compensation. There is a time limit to file a case in Illinois, so please contact us now for a free consultation with one of our skilled nursing home attorneys.

Respected Elder Abuse and Nursing Home Negligence Attorneys

If you suspect neglect of a loved one in a nursing home was the root of their health issue, please contact us now for a FREE consultation with one of our attorneys. Call us toll free at 1-877-374-1417, in Chicago at (312) 332-2872, or complete our online case evaluation form.

Located in Chicago, Levin & Perconti is one of the nation’s most recognized and respected leaders in the areas of elder abuse and nursing home negligence litigation and settled cases throughout the city of Chicago, surrounding suburbs, and the entire state of Illinois.

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