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Respiratory Infections in New York Nursing Homes

Over a two-year period, a total of 241,804 nursing home residents were hospitalized for pneumonia in the United States. Unfortunately, hospitalization for pneumonia is associated with a substantial risk of functional decline and death among nursing home residents, and a whopping 89.9% of these hospitalizations resulted in either severe disability or death of the resident.

Pneumonia and other respiratory infections can quickly spread and wreak havoc on a nursing home, especially if the facility is already understaffed or poorly run. If you believe a loved one has suffered from nursing home neglect or abuse that resulted in respiratory infection or death, a Dalli & Marino personal injury lawyer may be able to help you hold the negligent party accountable for the damage they have caused.

Signs Your Loved One in a Nursing Home Could Be Suffering from a Respiratory Infection

A respiratory infection can affect the lungs, throat, and nose. Many nursing home residents may have minor symptoms at first, leading to a cold, flu, sinus infection, bronchitis, or laryngitis diagnosis. However, these conditions can quickly worsen and develop into something more severe like pneumonia. If improperly treated or left untreated entirely, it is not uncommon for such infections to become life-threatening.

If someone you love is in a long-term care facility and is suffering from any of the following symptoms, they may need treatment for a respiratory infection:

  • Congestion
  • Coughing
  • Ear inflammation
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Hoarseness
  • Irritated tonsils
  • Loss of smell
  • Phlegm
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Sinus pain
  • Sneezing
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Wheezing

Since elderly adults typically do not present a fever at the onset of an infection, a respiratory infection can be difficult to diagnose before it begins to spread. Nursing homes are a breeding zone for viruses and infections, especially when they lack the staffing to keep up with the necessary cleaning duties. Nursing home residents often share common spaces for dining and socializing. Visitors, staff, and suppliers also frequently come and go, providing a multitude of opportunities to introduce new infections into the facility.

Common Respiratory Infections Among Nursing Home Residents in New York

If nursing home staff is inadequately trained on hygiene practices, simple procedures like proper handwashing can be forgotten or overlooked and contribute to a respiratory infection outbreak within the facility.

There are various types of respiratory infections, each of which is caused by a different bacteria or virus. However, the most common respiratory infections in New York nursing homes are caused by:

  • pneumonia
  • Coronavirus
  • Influenza viruses
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Parainfluenza virus
  • Pneumococci
  • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)

When these infections are treated correctly and promptly, many nursing home residents can make a complete recovery. However, in order for your loved one to receive the treatment they need for a respiratory illness, the nursing home staff must follow health and sanitation protocols and carefully monitor patients for signs of illness.

Contact a Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Lawyer in New York to Seek Justice for a Respiratory Illness

When you place a family member in a nursing home, you trust the facility to be adequately staffed with properly trained workers to provide the care your loved one needs. Unfortunately, some long-term care facilities in New York are understaffed or poorly train their employees, and in turn, their residents end up neglected or abused.

A respiratory infection can quickly become life-threatening to a nursing home resident. If someone you care about in a long-term care facility has suffered a respiratory illness and you think the nursing home could be at-fault, contact a Dalli & Marino nursing home neglect and abuse lawyer today. Call (888) 465-8790 or complete our contact form to set up a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your options.

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