“Superbug” Bacteria Live in One-Quarter of Nursing Home Residents

Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Affects 1 in 4 Nursing Home Residents

New findings suggest that one in four nursing home residents has antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or “superbugs”. Researchers reviewed findings from eight previous studies and found that the rate of multidrug-resistant bacteria ranged between 11 and 59 percent; the average was 27 percent.

The personal injury attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP have decades of experience representing nursing home abuse and neglect victims. The firm continues to offer free legal consultations to individuals with questions about filing a nursing home abuse and neglect lawsuit.

Study author Sainfer Aliyu, a doctoral candidate at Columbia University School of Nursing in New York City, explains that having the bacteria does not necessarily mean that the resident is ill. “Someone who is colonized has the bacteria on them, but may not know it. They may not show any symptoms. But they can spread the germ to others, and they have the potential to become sick themselves,” the researcher said.

“Nursing home residents are at higher risk to become colonized with these bacteria,” said Aliyu, according to HealthDay.

Nursing home residents often have serious medical conditions and weakened immune systems. Many take antibiotics long term, fueling antibiotic resistance. Superbugs also grow in nursing homes because there are many individuals in a shared space interacting with one another.

According to HealthDay, researchers focused on multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacteria (MDR-GNB). Nursing home residents are commonly infected with these bacteria, and doctors have few treatment options. The authors reviewed eight studies between 2005 and 2016 analyzing MDR-GNB in nursing homes.

Aliyu said the findings highlight the need to “further educate staff on infection prevention,” and develop “policies for infection prevention that are more nursing-home specific,” HealthDay reports.

Linda Greene, president-elect of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc., in Rochester, N.Y., commented on the new study. “This was a well-done study that quantifies the degree of colonization in long-term care facilities,” she said.

“It stands to reason that colonization rates may be higher because the nursing home is people’s residences. And this is where the challenges occur, because how do we curtail this? There’s so much interaction between nursing home residents. But we don’t want people confined to their rooms,”

Greene says hand-washing is a simple and effective way to prevent the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. “Hand hygiene is one of the number one ways to prevent infection,” she stated.

The study was published last month in the American Journal of Infection Control.

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawsuits

Parker Waichman offers free legal consultations to individuals with questions about filing a nursing home abuse and neglect lawsuit.
The firm notes that possible signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include:

• Bedsores
• Weight loss
• Falling and unexplained bruises or injuries
• Dehydration

Bedsores, also referred to as pressure sores or pressure ulcers, are sores caused by unrelieved pressure. If a resident has been laying in one position for too long, they can develop a bedsore. Residents who are bedridden should be turned over frequently enough to prevent bedsores. According to the Mayo Clinic, bony areas such as the heels, ankles, hips and tailbone are the most susceptible to bedsores.

Some nursing home lawsuits are filed over abuse, such as verbal, physical, sexual or financial abuse. Unfortunately, some cases of nursing home abuse and neglect go unreported because residents cannot communicate the abuse. They may be afraid to speak up, or fail to remember that the abuse occurred.

Other nursing home lawsuits are filed over neglect. These cases often occur when facilities are understaffed. Overworked nurses and caretaker may fail to notice warning signs or forget to administer medications, for example.

Nursing home lawsuits are filed when the nursing home’s actions were abusive, negligent or if staff acted in an intentional manner that caused harm. Abuse or neglect may result from an inappropriate action, or when a staff member failed to act appropriately in a certain situation.

Parker Waichman comments that, in the event of abuse or neglect, pursuing nursing home litigation provides justice for the resident, but it also holds a facility liable for their actions. Filing a nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuit can lead to serious legal consequences, discouraging unsafe and illegal behaviors from occurring in the future. Many nursing home settlements and verdicts have resulted from litigation.

Legal Help for Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Victims

If you or a loved one is interested in filing a lawsuit against a nursing home, contact the nursing home abuse attorneys at Parker Waichman today. Our firm has decades of experience fighting for the rights of nursing home abuse victims and their families. For more information, fill out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).

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