Sepsis in Nursing Homes

Sepsis, an infection caused by bacteria entering through open wounds on the body, or through IV lines or catheters, continues to be a serious issue in nursing homes throughout the nation. If sepsis is not treated immediately, the results can be catastrophic. Unfortunately, there are far too many nursing homes with inadequate and/or overworked staff members, which results in nursing home residents contracting sepsis when it otherwise could have easily been prevented.

According to the consumer advocacy group, Nursing Home Complaint Center, sepsis is one of the most important warnings of nursing home abuse. Sepsis occurs when infections are left untreated which could have otherwise been treated quickly, and even prevented. In addition, patients with catheters and intravenous lines should be monitored closely at all times. If the aforementioned issues are not closely checked up on and treated immediately, the patient’s bed sores, open wounds, and other exposed areas become a literal breeding ground for bacteria, which ultimately leads to sepsis.

Once the patient has sepsis, an array of symptoms usually follow, ranging from rapid heartbeats, shaking, sweating, confusion, fever, chills, hyperventilation, discolored skin, and low urination. Since the elderly have a lower immune system, sepsis is extremely dangerous and can quickly lead to sepsis shock; an advanced stage of the infection that can lead to organ loss, extremely low blood pressure, and wrongful death.

Abuse?

Often, loved ones and friends of the nursing home resident that is suffering from sepsis will wonder if the infection is a direct cause of abuse or nursing home neglect. There are tell-tale signs to progressively look for in order to determine if the infection occurred at the hands of the nursing home staff:

- Are the linens being cleaned normally?

- Does the nursing home resident have wounds or bedsores that have not been treated?

- Does your loved one wear the same outfits a few days at a time?

- Do the nursing home staff members seem inattentive or overstaffed?

- Are the nursing home areas cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis (including the bathroom, kitchen, and activity area)?

- Does the nursing home patient complain of neglect or not being treated in a timely manner?

- Is hot water and regular body cleanings readily available?

We Can Help

These are just some of the few reasons that would indicate there is potential nursing home abuse, and it’s imperative that you move forward with your concerns. An experienced nursing home abuse lawyer will be able to discern the situation and give you the legal counsel needed in order to help you through this stressful situation.

The nursing home abuse lawyers at the McIver Brown Law Firm have extensive knowledge regarding the legal procedures for nursing homes, and will fight to ensure that your loved one receives proper care, and that you and your family get the justice and financial compensation that you are owed.

References:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001687/