Few medical conditions are more threatening to the lives and well-being of the elderly than infections and sepsis. Not only are the elderly more likely to develop infections and sepsis, but they’re also less capable to fight them off. That can be quite deadly. Every medical professional knows this.
Sometimes infection is unavoidable, but it’s a terrible thing when it is avoidable. Infections, and sepsis, in particular, can be horribly painful and affect the entire body. Since the medical community if widely aware of how vulnerable the elderly are to infection and sepsis and the effects on their health, they have a duty to do everything possible to prevent them.
Sometimes nursing home and assisted living facility employees are negligent in their responsibilities, which can cause excruciating pain and suffering or death. That level of disregard of one’s professional responsibilities is not okay.
Five Common Infections in the Elderly
- Urinary Tract Infections – The use of catheters, diabetes, and immobility can cause urinary tract infection or UTI.
- Bacterial Pneumonia – Increased exposure in community settings makes this devastating form of pneumonia more common among the elderly.
- Skin Infections – Shingles, cellulitis, bacterial or fungal foot infections, pressure ulcers (bedsores) and the drug-resistant infection MRSA are common causes of skin infection in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
- Gastrointestinal Infection – Clostridium Difficile and Helicobacter pyloria are two common gastrointestinal infections in the elderly due to changes in the digestive tract.
- Influenza – The closed environment of a nursing home make the flu a highly contagious and dangerous illness, which can lead to pneumonia. Flu and pneumonia are the sixth leading cause of death in America, and the elderly make up 90 percent of those deaths.
Sepsis and the Elderly
Sepsis is a complication of an infection. Chemicals released into the blood to fight the infection can bring about inflammatory responses anywhere in the body. Many organ systems can be involved and are at risk to fail. Septic shock happens when the blood pressure drops dramatically and can cause death.
The risk factors for sepsis are listed below:
- Advanced age
- Compromised immune system
- Wounds or injuries
- The use of intravenous catheters or breathing tubes
- An existing and/or advanced sickness
Many patients in nursing homes and assisted living facilities walk in the door with at least one of the above risk factors. Such a situation demands heightened vigilance.
If your loved one suffered any of the above situations, they deserve some level of inquiry. Things that are often attributed to the aging process are really indications of negligence. You need experienced help to know the truth.
Contact A Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Attorney
A nursing home neglect and abuse attorney can help you get answers about your loved one’s infection(s) or sepsis. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities must take reasonable care to prevent known health vulnerabilities to develop. The attorneys of Banville Law believe that no one deserves to suffer due to a nursing home’s negligence.
We will secure the maximum compensation for the terrible pain and suffering your loved one endured. We’re determined to end nursing home negligence in our generation.