One of the most difficult decisions you made was whether to place your parent in a Washington nursing care facility. If your loved one had been failing in physical or mental health, you may have reached the point where you could no longer safely and effectively provide for his or her needs.
Entrusting your parent to a professional nursing staff seemed like to logical thing to do, so you understandably felt a sense of betrayal to notice signs of neglect in your loved one. In addition to soiled clothing, unkempt hair, and evidence that the staff had not adequately fed or bathed your loved one, you may have discovered that your loved one showed symptoms of having an infection. This gave you cause for alarm.
How did my loved one get sick?
It may shock you to learn that thousands of nursing home residents across the country die each year of preventable infections that turn septic. Sepsis occurs when your body fights an infection so hard that toxins build up in the blood stream causing damage throughout the body at a rapid rate. When a body is already weak or vulnerable, as with many nursing home residents, an infection that turns septic can quickly lead to death.
Studies show that the most common reason why nursing home residents end up in the hospital is because of septic infections. You may agree with many in the health care industry that this is unacceptable since most infections are preventable. Some of the most common causes of infections in nursing homes include the following:
- Negligent insertion or removal of a catheter or failure to regularly clean the urine collection bag may lead to a urinary tract infection.
- Your loved one may contract an infection from a feeding tube the nursing staff leaves in too long.
- Wounds can become infected if nursing staff is negligent about hygiene practices.
- Bed sores, or pressure sores, can become infected if not treated.
A bed sore that turns septic is perhaps the most tragic because such wounds are entirely preventable by regularly shifting your loved one's position in the bed to avoid consistent pressure in one area. If your parent ends up hospitalized with a late-stage pressure sore, he or she will likely endure painful surgeries to attempt to remove the infection. In some cases, the infection penetrates the bone, leading to tragic consequences.
You do not have to accept the negligent treatment of your parent under the care of a skilled nursing staff. If your loved one has suffered from an infection or untreated pressure sore, you have every right to seek legal advice about your best course of action.