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A Place for Mom recently reported the 5 most common infections in the elderly.

It’s an important topic and comes at a critical time for both the nursing-home and health-care industries. Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports patients suffer more than 1.7 million hospital-acquired infections each year, resulting in 99,000 deaths. Many of these are the result of drug-resistant bacteria, which can have life-or-death consequences.

More common infections such as influenza and urinary tract infections can happen to anyone, but elderly adults face more complications, longer recovery time and other serious consequences, including hospitalization and death. In fact, the American Academy of Family Physicians reports one-third of all deaths in those over age 65 are the result of infections.

Most Common Nursing Home Infections In Alabama

Nursing home negligence lawyers in Mobile and throughout Alabama continue to see the consequences of an increasing nursing home population, combined with reduced funding and regulations at both the state and federal level.

Infections are just one more area where quality of care is suffering as a result. Most common elderly infections include:

  • Urinary tract infections: Hydration and antibiotics are necessary to treat these infections. Unfortunately, seniors may not feel an infection in its early stages. Chronic dehydration among the elderly can make them especially susceptible.
  • Skin infections: These commonly include bed sores and bacterial or fungal infections, as well as more serious drug-resistant infections like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Pressure ulcers or bed sores, which are preventable with proper care, are a particularly common sign of nursing home neglect.
  • Bacterial pneumonia: More than 60 percent of all seniors will be admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. Early intervention is critical to successful recovery.
  • Influenza: Like pneumonia, elderly nursing-home residents may be particularly vulnerable to serious or fatal complications, especially if not properly hydrated and treated.
  • Gastrointestinal infections: Dehydration and weight loss are common causes of intestinal infections. Because seniors are already prone to both, serious or repeated gastrointestinal infections can result in physical decline and life-threatening complications.

Proving Neglect In Alabama Nursing Home Infection Cases

While not every infection suffered in a nursing home is the result of negligent or inadequate care, these facilities have an obligation to the health and safety of both staff and residents. That means maintaining proper sanitation and using other best practices to reduce infection risks.

These companies also have an obligation to make an early diagnosis, to treat illnesses and infections in a timely manner, and to develop treatment plans that will address an elderly patient’s risk of complications and side-effects.

The National Institutes of Health reports more than 1.5 million U.S. nursing home residents will acquire more than 2 million infections this year. The industry expects more than 5.3 million people in nursing home care by 2030.

If you suspect dangerous conditions in a nursing home, do not stand silently on the sidelines. A growing trend of reduced regulation has occurred in recent years, even as the majority of these facilities have been consolidated among a few large nationwide corporations. The end result is that the observations of nursing home guests are often the first line of defense when it comes to protecting the safety and dignity of elderly residents.