Nursing Homes Getting Away with Dirty Behavior
There is a serious trend of failing sanitation standards in many nursing homes in California. This has resulted in a disturbing rise in infections. When federal regulators fail to punish nursing homes for not keeping our loved ones safe, perhaps it is time we do so.
Nursing Home Infection Statistics
In 1980, the average hospital stay after a medical procedure was 7.3 days, but in 2012 that time was cut to 4.5 days. Shortened stays have helped many people avoid healthcare-related infection, since it reduces their exposure to other patients’ viruses and bacteria. Unfortunately, for the elderly who live in nursing homes, there is no escape.
According to a Kaiser Health News analysis of four years of federal inspections, 74% of nursing homes across the country have been cited for lapses in infection control: simple things like staff members washing their hands, staying home when sick, and ensuring bandages or other possible infection sites are kept clean. Here in California, almost 90% of nursing homes have been cited for infection control violations. That’s 1,118 homes out of the 1,251 total.
The LA Times said, “Although repeat citations are common, disciplinary action such as fines is rare: Nationwide, only 1 of 75 homes found deficient in those four years has received a high-level citation that can result in a financial penalty.”
So even though inspectors find these infection control violations, they fail to take action to make nursing homes stop this behavior. Without penalties, these disgusting abuses continue, and the result is that nearly 400,000 deaths occur each year due to healthcare-associated infections. And some cases are downright unbelievable.
In Memphis, Tennessee, one nursing home resident was running a high fever and rushed to the hospital. Once there, nurses discovered that he was covered in human waste and had maggots growing inside one of his wounds. Can you believe human beings let that happen to another human being?
What Can I Do?
If the U.S. government will not penalize nursing homes for failing sanitation standards that put your loved ones at risk, then perhaps you should.
Neglect and abuse by nursing home staff, which includes failing to keep residents clean and sanitary, should never be acceptable. We wish we could tell you it was rare, but it’s not.
Report any unsanitary conditions you find to the California Department of Health Care Services, and consider filing a civil claim against the nursing home or the company that owns it. Call Siegel Law today at 562-645-4145 to speak to Travis Siegel, our lead attorney who specializes in prosecuting nursing home infection. Tell us about your situation, and we can discuss the options available to you going forward. Your consultation is free and confidential.