At the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi, our Los Angeles infection attorneys have tremendous experience representing victims of infections in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The harm and suffering that can result from such infections can be very damaging; we want to help you put an end to such abuse and get just compensation for all that your loved one has had to suffer.Information Regarding COVID-19
Click here for additional information from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) regarding the latest updates to nursing home policy and oversight during the COVID-19 or “coronavirus” crisis.
Click here for additional information from the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) regarding the latest updates to assisted living policy and oversight during the COVID-19 crisis.
The “coronavirus” disease 2019, also known as COVID-19, is a respiratory disease that just recently and rapidly spread to all corners of the globe. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. There are currently growing instances of COVID-19 in the United States, including in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities. In fact, a nursing home in Seattle faces a $600,000 fine for deaths linked to coronavirus.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends general strategies to prevent the spread of coronavirus in nursing homes and assisted living facilities – the same strategies that these places utilize to prevent infections such as pneumonia and influenza. This includes speedy identification and management of sick residents, restrictions for visitors and outside providers, maintaining sufficient supplies and resources, educating and training staff, and being able to handle “surge” capacity for staff, equipment, and supplies.
During this time, it is very important to continue to advocate for your loved one. Do so by telephone, text, and/or e-mail to facility staff for updates regarding the resident’s status and care. In the case of an emergency, call Emergency Services via 911 immediately.
Generally, infections are common in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities due to a number of risk factors. While patients and residents are more susceptible to infectious diseases because of their increased age, weakened immune systems, and underlying chronic diseases, it is also more difficult to diagnose and treat them because of their frailty. Most nursing homes also lack the resources necessary to diagnose and treat infected residents in a timely manner. Infection control and treatment puts more stress on staff because of the added tasks related to cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing the environment and of the infected residents. According to a recent study, approximately 15% of all nursing homes in the U.S. received citations for deficient infection control from 2000 to 2007.
Common infectious diseases in nursing homes and assisted living facilities include urinary tract infections, skin and soft tissue infections that include pressure ulcers, infected blood vessel or diabetic foot ulcers, and infections in the stomach and intestines. Among these, the most common ones are influenza, scabies, Clostridium difficile, sepsis and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). If your loved one has suffered harm because of a nursing home’s or assisted living facility’s failure to prevent or treat an infection, you may want to call a Los Angeles infection attorney immediately.Preventive Measures
Viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites are generally responsible for spread of infections in facilities. Therefore, it is important to adhere to universal infection control precautions, especially the hygiene of staff. Hand-washing basins and alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be provided in each room, and staff should carry disposable gloves, gowns, and masks if necessary. Ongoing supervision and the fostering of the staff's continued adherence to these universal precautions are very effective in preventing transmission of infectious diseases in facilities.Infection Control Measures
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities need to ensure that their staff are educated and trained to identify symptoms of infectious diseases and to follow infection control guidelines when an outbreak occurs. As to preventive measures, the staff's hand hygiene is key effective to infection control. The infection lawyers of the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi in Los Angeles know that facilities should ensure that all staff members regularly wash their hands with hot water and use gloves when providing care to infected residents, and should take measures to prevent the spread of infection.
If there is an outbreak, a facility may have to consider isolating the infected resident to prevent a further spread. Without adequate facility space to isolate the infected residents or carriers for treatment and decolonization, staff cannot successfully control the spread of infectious diseases because the staff, visitors, and other patients or residents are exposed to them without knowledge and protection. Facilities should thus avoid overcrowding the facility and must provide adequate space and staff members for isolated care of infected residents. Prompt and systematic containment of infection outbreaks followed by thorough treatment measures is crucial for successful infection control, as outbreaks can spread quickly to affect large amounts of people if countermeasures are not swift and decisive.
The prevention of outbreaks of infectious diseases in the patient population is a nursing home’s or assisted living facility’s duty. If your loved one has contracted a serious infection while at a facility, please contact the infection lawyersat the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi in Los Angeles today. Your loved one should not be put at risk for life-threatening complications because of a facility’s failure to provide a safe and hygienic environment, due to lack of nursing staff or non-compliance with infection control measures. The attorneys at our offices are experts in nursing home and assisted living facility litigation and we will rigorously pursue your case until a just resolution is achieved.