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Drug-Resistant Bacteria May Be Lurking in Illinois Nursing Homes

The care provided to elderly residents of nursing homes must be of the utmost quality so that each and every resident has her needs met. From assistance with daily tasks like getting dressed to meals and even medication dosing, those who work in nursing homes are required to act within a set standard of care so that they will not act in a manner that is detrimental to the residents’ health.

But new information has been uncovered that suggests an underlying threat to the safety of those who call an Illinois nursing facility their home, and it is likely that the residents, employees, and even management of those homes are unaware of the issue. The information stems from a study by the Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital and was published recently in the American Journal of Infection Control and it suggests that not enough is being done to recognize, address, and eradicate drug-resistant bacteria that lurks in nursing facilities.

The study reviewed hospital admissions for 500 patients from nursing homes during the 2012 year and reviewed each of those patients for the presence of drug-resistant bacteria. During that time, nearly five percent of all admissions had drug-resistant bacteria and yet only a few showed such symptoms. The researchers noted that this could present a public health issue as individuals with drug-resistant infections should be quarantined when necessary to prevent the spread of germs; yet, if patients who have such bacterial infections do not show symptoms, it becomes difficult to identify the bacterial issues and to take the steps necessary to ensure safety of other patients.

This further presents an issue as it makes it clear that numerous nursing home patients that were subjected to the review had drug-resistant bacterial infections while they were in their nursing homes. This can lead to greater odds of death, complications from existing medical conditions or worsening of those conditions, and a greater financial toll for treating those residents. But the issues compound when you realize that a typical nursing home in the nation has hundreds of patients who are at risk of catching any infection that is present in a long term care facility, including those that are resistant to typical antibiotics. Simply having one resident with an infection can quickly allow the spread of those germs to others who may suffer from harm or even die as a result.

This new information should highlight the need for all nursing homes in the country to focus on sanitary practices and the eradication of any bacteria when it is discovered to optimize the conditions faced by all patients. Failing to do so or negligently allowing disease to spread within a nursing home can be signs of nursing home abuse or neglect, a serious issue among the elderly community and one that is believed to be drastically underreported every year.

It can be difficult to know whether someone in a nursing home is receiving the care that he or she deserves and even more challenging to determine whether neglect may have occurred. If you have questions or concerns about the rights of someone you love, know that the personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. will be standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call and to walk you through any legal issues that may be at play.

We offer a case consultation without cost or obligation to those who call us toll free at (855) 529-2442, locally at (312) 924-7575, or contact us online and we always have a licensed lawyer ready to help. If we represent your loved one in a case, we will never charge a fee unless we are successful on his or her behalf and we will fight for the best possible outcome so that your loved one can get the relief deserved.

Prior Blog Entry:

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse May Be Missed, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, published November 18, 2015.


Drug-Resistant Bacteria Carried by Nursing Home Residents is Focus of New Study, Infection Control Study, published December 1, 2015.

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