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The Most Common Infections in Nursing Homes

Jeff Martin April 13, 2023

Nursing homes provide care for some of the most vulnerable populations in our society, including elderly individuals who may have weakened immune systems and chronic health conditions. Unfortunately, infectious diseases are a common concern in these settings due to the proximity of residents and the potential for exposure to pathogens.

This blog will explore some of the most common infectious diseases affecting nursing home residents. By understanding the risks associated with these diseases and taking appropriate precautions, we can help protect the health and well-being of our loved ones in nursing home facilities.

1. Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary Tract Infections, also known as UTIs, are among the highly prevalent infections in nursing homes. This is because elderly individuals are more prone to urinary tract infections due to various factors, including weakened immune systems, catheterization, incontinence, and insufficient fluid intake.

In elderly individuals, the warning signs of a UTI may not always manifest in symptoms such as burning pain during urination and stomach pain. Instead, incontinence and behavioral symptoms like confusion and worsening dementia may be more prominent.

The usual treatment for UTI includes a course of antibiotics, accompanied by preventative measures such as maintaining good hygiene practices and ensuring adequate hydration by drinking enough water.

2. Pneumonia

Nursing home residents, especially those with underlying health conditions, can face severe consequences from respiratory infections like pneumonia. These infections can quickly spread due to increased exposure, reduced lung capacity, and the co-occurrence of diabetes or cardiopulmonary diseases.

One of the challenges of diagnosing pneumonia in nursing homes is that its typical symptoms, such as chills and fever, may not always be present in elderly individuals. Rather, delirium, weakness, and disorientation may be the first symptoms of pneumonia in older people.

3. Staph Infection

Staph infections are caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, commonly found on the skin and nasal passages. While staph bacteria are usually harmless, they can cause infections if they enter the body through sores, cuts, and scratches, leading to an infection.

This infection can spread quickly in nursing homes due to close contact between residents and staff. It can spread by coming into contact with items such as sheets, clothes, and medical equipment that have been touched with the infected person’s skin.

Call a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney!

If you suspect that you or your loved one has contracted an infection due to negligence of a nursing home facility, contact the Law Offices of Jeff Martin. Our nursing home abuse attorneys in Tulsa, Oklahoma, specialize in cases related to nursing home abuse and can provide guidance and representation. We offer a free consultation, so feel free to visit or reach out to our law firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to discuss your legal options.