Are Urinary Tract Infections in Nursing Homes Preventable?
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are unfortunately very common in nursing homes. These infections may seem unavoidable, but that is not always the case. While not all UTIs can be avoided, there are times when they are the result of neglect and abuse in nursing home facilities. When the staff members in a nursing home ignore a resident’s UTI, it can develop into sepsis. These cases are some of the most tragic, as sepsis can be fatal for anyone, particularly elderly individuals who have weaker immune systems. Below, our Tampa UTI lawyer explains how nursing homes should prevent these serious infections.
Who is Most at Risk for a Urinary Tract Infection?
Urinary tract infections affect the urethra, bladder, ureter, or catheter. Elderly patients in nursing homes are more likely to develop a UTI if they have a catheter. However, any patient can suffer from a UTI, even if they do not have a catheter. Even when a patient is catheterized, it does not absolve the nursing home from liability if a resident passes away or suffers harm from an infection.
How Nursing Homes Should Treat UTIs
Nursing homes have a legal obligation to not only try to prevent UTIs in residents, but they should also react in a timely manner when a patient develops an infection. Treating urinary tract infections is quite simple. The condition can be diagnosed with a simple blood or urine test, and it does not take a lot of time for test results to be returned. When a test indicates the presence of a UTI, patients should be treated with a simple round of antibiotics and plenty of hydration.
How to Identify a UTI
Nursing home staff members should know how to recognize the signs of a UTI so they can diagnose and treat it as quickly as possible. One of the most common signs is painful urination. Unfortunately, many residents in nursing homes cannot communicate that they are in pain and so staff members must watch for other signs. These include:
- Cloudy urine
- Bloody urine
- Foul-smelling urine
- The need to urinate more often than usual
- Sudden urges to urinate
When a nursing home staff member notices that a resident is suffering the above symptoms and there is no other cause for them, it is very likely that they are suffering from a UTI. With a timely diagnosis and treatment, the infection will not generally cause the resident further harm. Sadly, residents do not always receive the attention a UTI requires and in these cases, patients can hold the nursing home liable.
Call Our UTI Lawyer in Tampa Today
If you or a loved one suffered a UTI while in a nursing home, you need sound legal advice. At Kohn Law, our Tampa UTI lawyer can provide it and help your family obtain the full and fair compensation you deserve. Call us now at 813-428-8504 or chat with us online to request a free review of your case and to get more information.