MRSA and Nursing Home Residents
Nursing home residents are at an increased risk of certain diseases, including MRSA. Learning what MRSA is and how to prevent it can help you keep your loved one in a nursing home safe.
What is MRSA?
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterial infection that’s dangerous because of its resistance to antibiotics. The symptoms of MRSA include:
- Red, swollen bumps
- Painful to the touch bumps
- Warm skin
- Ongoing fever
Most cases of MRSA start with bumps or infections on the skin that appear red, swollen, and painful to the touch. If left untreated, the infection can move to the bones, joints, or organs. It can also go into the bloodstream. The best way to diagnose MRSA is with a lab test that involves taking a sample from the resident’s skin or nose.
Why are Nursing Home Residents at Risk of MRSA?
There are a few reasons why nursing home residents are at an increased risk of MRSA. The close living quarters mean the bacteria can easily move from one resident to another. Nursing homes may not have the same cleaning or hygienic standards, especially if they’re overwhelmed with a lot of residents.
Seniors are also prone to more diseases because of their weakened immune systems. Many residents in nursing homes are dealing with other medical conditions, which may weaken the immune system. Additionally, many are on medications that may compromise the immune system. MRSA can also be carried from one resident to another without notice. The host doesn’t always show symptoms, which can lead to it getting out of control before anyone even recognizes it.
Residents in a nursing home may not always be able to notify caregivers of the symptoms. With disorders like Alzheimer’s and dementia being highly common among nursing home residents, they may not notice the symptoms until it’s already out of control.
How to Avoid MRSA in a Nursing Home
Proper hygiene and early treatment are the best ways to avoid an MRSA outbreak in a nursing home environment. It’s also important for residents to complete the full treatment of antibiotics. Otherwise, stopping antibiotics early can help the body develop resistance against them, which can make it more difficult to treat other diseases.
Residents also shouldn’t share personal hygiene items, like towels or razors. Caregivers should thoroughly wash their hands between administering care or medications between different residents. Regular baths and hand washing are also important in preventing diseases like MRSA.
While family members may have limited control over the sanitation practices of caregivers, observing them can help you understand the environment better. Family members should monitor their loved ones to make sure they’re receiving routine showers or baths. Watching staff when they interact with a loved one can also help you identify any areas of concern.
Staff negligence can lead to MRSA in a nursing home. If your loved one developed MRSA and you believe negligence is to blame, you may have a case. You may be eligible to seek compensation from the nursing home to cover your loved one’s medical bills, moving costs, and pain and suffering.
Contact a Marlton Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer to Discuss Your Case in New Jersey 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 in New Jersey, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The experienced nursing home neglect attorneys at Sugarman Law represent clients throughout New Jersey, including Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, and Elizabeth. Call (866) 657-5660 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.