Nursing homes care for some of the most vulnerable people amongst our population. These elderly individuals are oftentimes medically frail, requiring close monitoring and the provision of adequate medical services. When these matters are not appropriately handled, then innocent nursing home residents can be seriously harmed. This is why New York has implemented a number of regulations aimed to ensure nursing home safety.
One of these regulations focuses on infection control. Elderly nursing home residents often suffer from weakened immune systems, leaving them susceptible to infection. This can be especially true when they are injured in a fall or develop bed sores. In order to prevent and control infection, New York regulations require nursing homes to develop an infection control program. These programs must contain written policies that dictate how infections are investigated and controlled, as well as how individuals who are infected will be handled. This often requires isolation.
Another important aspect of these plans is that they are supposed to document each incidence of infection and how it was handled. If an infection is not appropriately addressed in accordance with an infection control plan, or the infection control plan itself is insufficient, then preventable harm can occur. This can leave victims not only physically hurt, but it can leave them emotionally devastated and, in some instances, such infections can lead to death.
Those who suffer harm caused by a nursing home infection, as well as those family members who lose a loved one to such an infection, should consider if the nursing home took the proper steps to identify, prevent and treat the infection. If not, or if the nursing home lacked a proper infection control plan, then legal action may be appropriate. To learn more about how to deal with nursing home abuse and neglect cases, individuals can speak with a qualified New York attorney. Taking this step will better protect your rights and arm you with you legal options.