Common Causes of Respiratory Infections in Nursing Homes
A significant number of people in nursing homes come down with respiratory infections each year. The most common causes of these respiratory infections are viruses and bacteria. However, there are less common causes, like a respiratory infection caused by an underlying infection or fungi in the environment. In today’s blog, we take a look at the most common causes of respiratory infections in nursing homes and if the nursing home can be held liable.
What Are the Symptoms of a Respiratory Infection?
Knowing the symptoms of a respiratory infection can help you get your loved one the medical care they need sooner. Some of the most common symptoms of respiratory infections include:
- Common cold
- Pharyngitis, or an inflammation of the pharynx
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Clogged nose
The symptoms of a respiratory infection can affect people differently. This means it’s important to consult with a physician if your loved one has any of these signs.
How to Treat a Respiratory Infection
The treatment that you can expect depends on many factors, including the type of respiratory infection it is, the patient’s symptoms, and any other medications they are currently on. One of the first things your loved one’s medical team will do is complete a full evaluation. This helps them better understand their symptoms and choose the best medications.
Viral infections can be harder to treat since there isn’t a cure. While there aren’t any medications that can get rid of a viral infection, there are medications that a physician can prescribe for symptoms. Antibiotics may be prescribed if the patient’s infection is caused by bacteria, but these medications should be avoided unless prescribed by a physician.
How to Prevent Respiratory Infections
Seniors are prone to respiratory infections. However, there may be a few things that you can do to prevent the chance of them getting them. If your loved one is in an assisted living or nursing home setting, isolation is key to preventing a respiratory infection when a resident is known to currently have one. Respiratory infections can move from resident to resident fast, especially in shared living conditions.
Practicing good hygiene is also important in preventing illness. This includes residents, physicians, caregivers, and visitors. Try to wash your hands before visiting a loved one. You may be carrying a bacteria that doesn’t cause you any symptoms, but may be harder on someone with a reduced immune system.
Vaccines can also be effective in preventing respiration infections. Senior residents should consult with their doctor and consider vaccines like flu or pneumococcal vaccines. Not only do these vaccines reduce their chances of getting the illness, but they can also minimize the symptoms if they do.
Balanced diets are also important for strengthening the immune system so that it can fight off infections. This includes vitamins C and D.
When a Respiratory Infection is a Sign of Neglect
Because seniors commonly catch infections, a respiratory infection is not always a sign of neglect. However, it can be, especially if they are frequent and the nursing home staff does nothing to prevent the occurrence or outbreak of an infection. Failing to practice clean hygiene can also be a sign of neglect.
Contact a Voorhees Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer to Discuss Your Case Today
Seniors in nursing homes and other care facilities deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Additionally, nursing home staff needs to ensure that patients are safe and secure at all times. If your loved one suffered an injury, or worse, due to nursing home abuse or negligence in New Jersey, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The experienced nursing home neglect attorneys at Sugarman Law Firm represent clients throughout New Jersey, including Paterson, Voorhees, Elizabeth, Metuchen, and East Orange. Call (732) 877-1975 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a free consultation today. We have an office conveniently located at 80 East Main Street, Somerville, NJ 08876, as well as an office in Marlton, NJ.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.