Infections and Sepsis

Nursing home residents have a higher risk of developing sepsis because of weakened immune system, age, and immobility. Sepsis is the most common reason that nursing home residents are transferred to a hospital. Sadly, sepsis has killed numerous nursing home residents.

Sepsis is often caused by infections such as untreated urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and pressure ulcers that become severely infected.

Nursing homes may be liable for sepsis if staff negligently caused the underlying infection or if the staff failed to recognize the signs of sepsis in a timely manner. Nursing homes should take measures to prevent infections in residents and treat them when they have infections.

If a nursing home resident remains in one position for a long time without movement, they can develop pressure ulcers, or bedsores, which may lead to infection and eventually cause sepsis. Nursing homes have a responsibility to prevent pressure ulcers by helping their residents move around and reposition themselves.

Also, if a nursing home is careless with IVs, catheters, or other medical instruments, a patient can develop sepsis. Failing to clean either the instruments or the insertion site in the skin constitute nursing home neglect, as they can lead to life-threatening infections.

Nursing homes should prevent infection by fostering sanitary conditions, cleaning insertion sites and medical equipment, keeping their residents as active as possible, and keeping them away from sick people and germs.


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