Infections are a common risk for Missouri nursing home patients. According to a report in 2004, over 1.5 million people lived in nursing homes in the United States. Approximately two million infections occur in nursing homes each year. Infections in nursing homes result in high healthcare costs, extended hospital stays, rehospitalizations, and high rates of mortality and illness. Some cases of nursing home infections may result in a wrongful death lawsuit.
If your loved one suffered an infection in a Missouri nursing home, contact our nursing home abuse attorney in Kansas City, Missouri at 816-203-0143 for a free consultation.
Common Types of Infections in Missouri Nursing Homes
Nursing homes are located throughout Missouri and house elderly people who are in weakened medical conditions and are often more susceptible to infection. The proximity to other residents and declining health are two factors that increase the risk of residents contracting infections in a nursing home. Common nursing home infections include, but are not limited to:
- Respiratory infections
- Skin infections
- Urinary tract infections
- Soft tissue infections
- MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)
- Clostridium difficile infections (CDIs)
In recent years, there has been an increase in infections from antibiotic-resistant pathogens. The overuse of antibacterial cleaners and antibiotic medications has contributed to creating infections that are resistant to many medications.
Infections pose a severe health risk for Missouri nursing home residents. Sadly, negligence can be the reason for infections spreading freely through nursing homes in Missouri.
Common Causes of Nursing Home Infections in Missouri
While it may be impossible to prevent every illness in a nursing home, there are steps that staff members can take to reduce the risk of infections in nursing homes. Common causes of nursing home infections include, but are not limited to:
- Poor hygiene, including failure to wash hands and use gloves by staff members
- Failing to treat and cover open wounds
- Violations of Title 19 of the Missouri State Code §30-85 and Federal Code Title 42 Part 483 for resident care requirements in nursing homes
- Inadequate training and safety procedures to prevent infections and transmission of disease
- Failing to follow procedures for safe use of IVs, catheters, and feeding tubes
- Inadequate staff for the number of residents in the nursing home
- Failing to report symptoms and signs of infection to physicians, including failing to transfer residents to the hospital or emergency room promptly
- Failure to isolate or quarantine residents who have a contagious disease
- Ensuring antibiotics are given as ordered
- Cleaning and changing bed linens and clothing each day
- Failure to dispose of waste products correctly
Nursing homes have a legal duty to provide clean, safe premises for residents. They also have a legal duty to provide adequate care for residents, including preventing and treating infections. Failing to implement infection control procedures can result in unnecessary illnesses, suffering, and wrongful death.
Proving a Missouri Nursing Home is Liable for Illnesses or Death Caused by Infections
To recover damages, Missouri law requires proof of negligence when a nursing home patient dies from an infection. Proving negligence includes gathering evidence to prove the elements of a negligence claim. Those elements are:
- The nursing home owed a duty of care to the resident
- The nursing home breached the duty of care by abusing or neglecting the resident
- The breach of duty was the direct and proximate cause of your loved one’s death
Nursing home residents may have a high risk of infection because of their age, decreased immune system, and other health conditions. However, these risk factors are not a defense to negligence. The nursing home may still be responsible for taking steps to prevent infections, especially when the resident has an increased risk of developing infections.
To prove nursing home neglect, you need our experienced Missouri nursing home abuse lawyer who will:
- Interview witnesses
- Obtain and review medical records
- Consult medical experts
- Review nursing home records
- Research prior complaints against the nursing home and staff members
- Obtain and review records of inspections and licenses
- Search for evidence of violations of a resident’s rights under the federal 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law
Proving nursing home neglect resulted in a wrongful death takes a lot of work. Most families do not have the time, skills, or resources to conduct a comprehensive investigation. They may not even realize they have a cause of action for wrongful death or their legal rights after their family member dies from a nursing home infection.
Therefore, the first step is to consult our experienced Missouri nursing home infection attorney. Our nursing home negligence attorney in Kansas City, Missouri fights for the rights of injured victims and their families to seek justice and compensation for nursing home abuse and negligence.
Negligent nursing homes and caregivers must be held liable for the harm they cause. Holding these parties accountable for their wrongdoing can help prevent other patients from suffering the same neglect and abuse in the future.
Call for a Free Consultation with our Missouri Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Our Missouri nursing home injury attorney at the Law Office of Kevin J. McManus has extensive experience handling cases involving nursing home negligence.
We encourage you to contact our law firm in Kansas City for a free consultation by calling 816-203-0143 or completing our online contact form. Your initial consultation is free and confidential. We want to ensure you have the information and legal advice you need after losing a loved one because of nursing home negligence.