A New Jersey nursing and rehabilitative facility was fined $600,000 after nearly a dozen children died and many more were sickened after an adenovirus swept the facility. An investigation by state and federal officials reveal that poor hand washing practices and lapses in infection control posed a severe risk to the vulnerable patients in the facility likely contributing to the spread of the virus.
Even after the adenovirus took hold, nurses and other personal were observed not washing their hands between handling equipment attached to patients and themselves or other equipment, including respirators and feeding tubes, providing a means for the virus to spread in the patient population.
Although adenoviruses typically cause mild illness, medically fragile patients are at naturally higher risk for developing life threatening symptoms. Poor hygienic practices in the nursing home and a failure to respond to the growing crisis likely played a role in the severity of the outbreak.
Unsanitary conditions in a nursing home can easily put a family member at risk for serious health problems. Patients and their families have a right to expect the nursing home to be clean and hygienic and that the residents personal hygiene needs are met. Along with food and water, hygiene is the most basic level of care that should be expected, however many nursing home residents are forced to live in filthy conditions putting their health in jeopardy.
If the lack of hygiene in a nursing home becomes more than an isolated incident, it may constitute nursing home neglect. Certainly, when residents are subject to unsanitary environments, the likelihood of developing infections or other medical complications increases. Nursing home and rehabilitative care facility residents are often unable to stand up for themselves and may endure unsanitary conditions or other types of nursing home neglect or abuse that put them at risk. If your family member has been injured in a nursing home due to negligent care or nursing home abuse, contact the Des Moines nursing home abuse lawyers of Hemminger Law Firm for assistance at 515-283-2116.
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