IMPROPER HANDLING OF COVID-19 OUTBREAKS IN NURSING HOMES
The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed tens of thousands of American lives. A disproportionate number of these deaths have happened in or been linked to nursing homes facilities and adult living facilities.
Request a consultation with us today and we’ll help determine if you have a case.
FIGHTING FOR THE RIGHTS OF SENIOR CITIZENS
The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed tens of thousands of American lives. A disproportionate number of these deaths have happened in or been linked to nursing homes facilities and adult living facilities. Unfortunately, many of these kinds of facilities have failed to meet infection-control standards for decades, with the failures getting worse as the companies that run these facilities squeeze out more profit by cutting the costs that go into creating a safe environment for their residents.
Of course, these neglectful and callous cutbacks lead to avoidable deaths even under normal circumstances and become immediately clear when they are put under scrutiny by a system stressor like the coronavirus.
The infection control practices in a number of these facilities fail in a variety of ways. Sometimes, facilities don’t properly track residents that are displaying infection symptoms. Other times, they don’t have protocols in place to make sure that the facility’s staff are changing used safety equipment, like gloves or gowns, frequently, or if they do have protocols, they aren’t being enforced by supervisors.
The fact of the matter is that while the COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented event that has caused widespread dysfunction, the situation did not have to be this bad. The same safety standards that are used to prevent the spread of other common infectious diseases could have helped stem the spread in many of these nursing homes. However, because of years of neglect and abuse, safety protocols in many nursing homes and adult living facilities have lapsed and now these kinds of facilities have been devastated by the coronavirus, leading to many deaths and injuries, the number of which could have been reduced otherwise.
Nursing homes and adult living facilities have a duty to care for their patients well-being. This means that they are required to take reasonable measures to protect their vulnerable patients from viruses. Despite the early and widespread acceptance that elderly patients were the most vulnerable population for COVID-19 complications and death, many of these facilities were slow to take concrete measures to protect their patients. This issue is compounded by the fact that many were violating laws relating to infection control to begin with, with many necessary supplies, like safety equipment and antimicrobial soap, being understocked.
Negligence and malpractice laws exist to hold nursing home facilities and the entities that own them responsible for the avoidable deaths and injuries to residents and their families, this goes for COVID-19 as well.
Nursing Home Infection Outbreaks
While the pandemic clearly shocked the world, nursing homes are required by law to have measures in place to protect against infectious disease outbreaks. However, it has been clear that these facilities were woefully underprepared, oftentimes neglecting to have the required protocols, equipment, and training in place to prevent these kinds of outbreaks, and often for financial reasons. Failing to meet the appropriate infection control standards means these facilities are open to a coronavirus negligence lawsuit.
Nursing Home Coronavirus Safety
There are a number of measures nursing homes and similar facilities should have in place to reduce the risk to their residents, including:
- Disinfecting surfaces: while it is now known that COVID-19 spreads less easily between people and surfaces, the number of people housed together and frequent contact between staff and residents means that the surfaces these people come into contact with frequently can still pose a risk, given how simple it is to disinfect surfaces, failing to do this could certainly qualify as negligence
- Staff wearing masks and gloves: person to person spread is one of the most common ways the virus spreads, staff members that are coming into contact with a number of people everyday must wear masks to prevent the virus spreading throughout the facility
- Isolating residents with symptoms: because the virus spreads to rapidly between people these facilities should immediately isolate those displaying symptoms are who test positive so that they do not start an outbreak in the facility
- Reducing visitors: the virus is in the community and any guests and workers coming into the facility unnecessarily pose the risk of starting an outbreak
Philadelphia Coronavirus Lawyers
Too many lives have already been tragically lost because of the failures and self-interest of nursing homes and the companies that run them. If you or a loved one suffered as a result of a nursing home COVID-19 outbreak, the nursing home negligence experts at Thistle Law are here to help you find out what your rights are regarding the coronavirus and what steps you can take to hold these facilities accountable.
Get your free consultation today through our contact form or call us at 215-525-6824.
FROM OUR CLIENTS
“I chose The Thistle Law Firm to represent me in a wrongful death nursing home case. I found them to be exceptional. They always used the kindest professionalism that I found very comforting in such a sensitive matter.
They are experts in their field, and they were always ready to talk to me and answer any questions. They kept me informed and always up to date on all information.
I would highly recommend their services for any legal matter, and I applaud their sensitivity to my late husband's dignity and our family. My family and I were more than pleased. Thank you, Tom and Dan Thistle.” – Darlene Dunn
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