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Nursing Home Sepsis Dangers

nursing home infections

Painful Infections Remain Untreated When Chicago’s Nursing Homes are Understaffed

The Chicago Tribune recently published a scathing article on the inadequate measures taken by a Chicago nursing home to prevent a resident’s bedsores from turning into deadly infections. The story featured the negligence and wrongful death claims of an 85-year-old resident at Lakeview Rehabilitation and Nursing Center on the city’s North Side. Family members of the resident told reporters that the facility’s staff never spoke of the “seriousness of the pressure sore, which led to sepsis, a severe infection that can quickly turn deadly if not cared for properly.”

Complications related to pressure sores often require intravenous antibiotics and sensitive care treatments to treat bloodstream infections and can result in painful surgeries to cut away dead skin around the wound. According to health officials, there are four types of infections that are often linked with sepsis including: lungs (pneumonia), kidney (urinary tract infection), skin (pressure wounds and bedsores) and gut. Out of the 6,000 Illinois nursing home residents who are hospitalized with sepsis each year, 1 in 5 won’t survive.

When Sepsis Infections Turn Fatal

Kaiser Health News (via Definitive Healthcare) conducted a special review of the human and financial toll of the prevention of bedsores and other infections that lead to sepsis across the U.S. and here in Illinois. The findings are more than unnerving:

  • Poor infection control ranks among the most common citations in nursing homes.
  • Care related to sepsis was the most common reason given for transfers of nursing home residents to hospitals.
  • Sepsis cases end in death “much more often” than hospitalizations for other conditions.
  • Medicare pays Illinois hospitals more than $100 million a year for treatment of nursing home residents for sepsis, mostly from Chicago-area facilities.

Since 2015, inspectors have cited 72 percent of homes nationally for not having or following an infection control program. In Illinois, that figure stands at 88 percent of homes. 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 employees to prevent diseases from spreading could leave facilities accountable for infectious disease-related deaths.

The Kaiser research continued to find that nursing home staffing levels in Illinois facilities remain some of the lowest in the country with Chicago area falling below the national average. Health officials have been linking inadequate staffing to bedsores and other related resident injuries, such sepsis infections, for years yet ignored guidelines and manageable regulation of staffing remain stagnant.

Nursing Home Sepsis Attorneys

If you suspect neglect of a loved one or mistreatment of a serious infection of a nursing home resident as the cause of their illness or untimely death, please contact Levin & Perconti, one of the nation’s most recognized and respected leaders in the areas of elder abuse and nursing home negligence litigation.

Levin & Perconti settle cases throughout the city of Chicago, surrounding suburbs, and the entire state of Illinois. We offer FREE consultations by simply calling toll free at 1-877-374-1417, in Chicago at (312) 332-2872, or by completing our online case evaluation form.