Nursing Homes and Flu Season
1/7/2019 Personal Injury John Whitfield
Most people don’t think much about getting the flu. For healthy individuals, the flu really isn’t a big a deal. While it might not be pleasant, it often doesn’t even warrant a doctor’s visit. For people with compromised immune systems, however, the flu can be life-threatening. People with chronic illnesses, newborns, and the elderly are particularly susceptible to the flu, which is why it is extremely important that these populations take the strongest precautions. Unfortunately, the elderly in nursing homes have to rely on their caregivers to take the precautions, and facilities do not always require it.
Keeping Nursing Homes Clean
Any facility housing multiple people will quickly get dirty, but facilities like these need to do more than just sweep and dust the dirt away. Extended care facilities need to properly sanitize surfaces to help prevent the spread of germs. Because residents in nursing homes live in close proximity to each other, it is very easy for germs to spread quickly with devastating consequences.
Proper Cleaning Practices
The spread of germs in nursing homes can happen a number of ways. Obviously, people interact with many surfaces that can pick up germs, but other common methods of germ transmission include bed linens and other laundry, eating utensils and plates, food, and skin to skin contact with other residents and staff. Individuals with the flu virus can spread their germs for up to 24 hours before they begin to experience symptoms, which means someone can inadvertently spread the flu without even knowing they have it.
Quickly Addressing All Illnesses
Even with stringent cleaning practices, individuals in nursing homes can come in contact with germs and develop the flu. The key to preventing the spread of the virus is to quickly address all illnesses and symptoms presented by residents. Residents showing symptoms need to be quarantined to prevent the spread of the flu. Unfortunately, many nursing homes fail to address residents’ sicknesses quickly enough to prevent them from spreading.
A Nursing Home’s Responsibility
Residents with compromised immune systems don’t have time to spare when it comes to treating the flu. The sickness needs to be diagnosed immediately so they can start treatment to prevent the virus from becoming life-threatening. A nursing home is responsible for the health and wellbeing of its residents. If a nursing home fails to keep its facility clean or fails to address illnesses of one or more patients, it can be held liable for the resulting damages.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
If your loved one contracted the flu while in a Nashville nursing home, you may be able to hold the facility accountable. Contact the nursing home abuse lawyers at Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP today for a free consultation to discuss your case. We can investigate your situation and explain your legal options.