Infections are often the result of poorly maintained environments and untreated injuries or medical conditions. When detected and treated quickly, most infections are cured easily with the use of antibiotics but failure to discover or treat an infection can have painful and dire consequences for the patient. Whenever nursing home patients suffer from the complications of a severe infection, it is important to determine how the infection was contracted and why it was not noticed or treated in a timely fashion. The Chicago Injury Center’s team of qualified nursing home injury lawyers often represent clients who have endured undue pain and suffering because of infections resulting from negligent care.
Causes of Infections in Nursing Home Patients
Infections have many causes and not all of them can be prevented. Early detection and treatment is extremely important, however, as it prevents the spread of an infection to vital organs or the bloodstream, where it can become life threatening. Common causes of infections include the following.
- Poor hygiene. Patients must be kept clean and failure to assist patients with their hygienic needs can cause infections.
- Bedsores. Late stage bedsores become open wounds that invite infections, which can exacerbate the pain and suffering that the patient is enduring from the sore while the infection spreads to the surrounding tissue or the blood stream.
- Unsanitary environment. It is important to prevent the spread of infection by maintaining a clean environment and it is the responsibility of nursing care facilities to keep their facilities sanitary.
- Medical procedures. Patients who have undergone surgeries or other invasive medical procedures are at a higher risk of infection and must be monitored accordingly.
Complications Due to Infections Acquired at Skilled Nursing Facilities
When left untreated, infections can cause serious health concerns and threaten the life of the patient. The most common complications that accompany infections include the following:
- Pain at or near the site of the infection.
- Sepsis— or the spread of an infection into the blood stream where it can travel to any area of the body.
- Spread of infection to vital organs.
- Tissue death, known as necrosis due to the death of cells caused by the infection.
Bacteria have grown increasingly resistant to antibiotics, but the majority of infections are still treatable. If a patient suffers from an infection and additional complications arise from the failure of staff to treat it, the nursing care facility and staff may be liable. If you believe that your loved one’s infection was the cause of negligent care or neglect, contact the Chicago Injury Center today to set up a free consultation with an experienced nursing care abuse lawyer. After reviewing and investigating the details of your case, we will let you know how best to proceed with litigation if you have a case and what to expect during each step of the process. If we are unable to collect compensation on your behalf, our counsel and services are free of charge.