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Why do nursing home residents develop infections there?

| Apr 24, 2020 | Nursing Home Neglect |

Researchers published a study highlighting some of the dangers that nursing home residents face in the Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology journal last year. In that article, they highlighted how older nursing home residents are at a significantly higher risk of acquiring health care-associated infections than others. The researchers identified various reasons why this is the case.

Most of the researchers who spearheaded the study are employed by the Veterans Affairs (VA) Maryland Health Care System. They visited VA-run nursing homes in six states to conduct their 15-month study though.

They determined that the majority of contact between nursing home workers and residents occurs when the latter are participating in either occupational or physical therapy sessions. At least 16.7% of all resident-staff interactions occur in this setting.

It was during the researchers’ 531-hour observation that they discovered that a significant number of interactions in these facilities occur in the dining hall. At least 18.3 hourly contacts happen there. There are only approximately 6.3 residents that visit television/lounge rooms each hour.

This data that the researchers uncovered sheds light on how much nursing home residents interact with the environment outside of their rooms than they originally suspected. The researchers noted that cleaning protocols aren’t very strong in these common areas. They argue that this may explain why as many as two million residents acquire infections in these types of facilities every year.

The researchers that conducted this study argue that nursing homes could do a better job of paying attention to cleanliness outside of a resident’s room. They note that this could greatly reduce the frequency of these residents’ hospital visits that ultimately result in them being diagnosed with comorbid conditions, having to be treated with antibiotics or developing functional impairments.

Negligence is a word that can be broadly defined. If a staff avoids interacting with a resident, then this could be considered as such. If they fail to address a cleanliness issue that they know can pose a health risk to residents, then the workers could also be accused of having been negligent.

If you believe that your Albuquerque loved one’s health care-associated infection was brought about by a staff member’s lack of proactiveness or attention to detail, then an attorney may advise you to file suit for damages on their behalf here in New Mexico.