Elderly patients residing in a nursing home are typically the most likely individuals to suffer illness and injuries through neglect or abuse. As an example, nursing homes can fail to provide adequate nutrition, water and assistance that can quickly lead to malnutrition and dehydration. In addition, neglectful actions of a healthcare provider can lead to a urinary tract infection in nursing home patient, along with other life-threatening medical conditions including sepsis.
Emotional and Physical Neglect
Because of systemic under-staffing, many nursing home facilities struggle with their efforts to provide adequate care to their patients. As a result of improper training, and/or poor management, the nursing home often provides inadequate levels of supervision, leading to abuse and/or neglect. Often times, this neglect includes:
- Failure to provide the patient sufficient water and healthy food, leading to malnutrition/dehydration
- Failure to provide basic care to maintain personal hygiene
- Failure to provide effective, early necessary medical treatment
- Providing confinement or isolation of the elderly individual
- Unnecessary restraint in a chair or bed
- Failure to follow doctor orders
- Failure to provide the right prevention or treatment of bedsores (decubitus ulcers)
- Denial or delay of necessary medical care
- Needless prolonged catheterization, leading to a serious urinary tract infection in nursing home patient
- Inadequate assistance to provide patient mobility around the facility, in and out of bed, and for dressing and toileting/showering
- Failure to timely change disposable diapers/briefs, which often leads to substantial skin damage from constant contact with feces/urine and a substantial loss of dignity
Increased Risk of Urinary Tract Infections For Elderly in Nursing Homes
Elderly patients residing in a nursing home typically have a higher potential of developing UTIs (urinary tract infections) because of many age-related changes that affect his or her urinary tract.
Inefficient bladder emptying (incontinence) is often the result of weaken bladder muscles. In addition, the aging process often makes the kidneys less efficient in the ability to remove waste while producing secretions known to prevent infection. As a result, there is often increased bacterial growth if the bladder is not routinely voided.
This higher rate of bacterial growth can quickly lead to a urinary tract infection or other substantially severe complication, including sepsis, an often life-threatening bloodstream infection.
In many incidences, urinary tract infections are challenging to diagnose, especially when there is no painful urination. Many times, a sudden unexpected change in behavior is the first indicator that the elderly individual is experiencing a UTI. Other common warning signs and symptoms often include:
- Urinary incontinence
- The incapacity to perform tasks that were easy to perform in the days prior
Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms
While every case of urinary tract infection is different, there are common symptoms of UTIs in both men and women. These demonstrated symptoms include:
- A persistent, strong urge to urinate
- Cloudy appearing urine
- A strong burning sensation during urination
- Urine with a strong odor
- Urine appearing brown, pink or reddish in color
- Serious rectal discomfort or pain in men
- Serious pelvic discomfort or pain in women
Sometimes, urinary tract infections will have a direct effect on the kidneys. Nursing home residents suffering from kidney-affected urinary tract infections also have a variety of symptoms and signs that include shaking/chills, high fever, vomiting, nausea, side pain and upper back pain. Urethra or bladder infections often produce symptoms including urine with blood, associated pain in the area, and intense burning during urination.Legal Help When A Facility Fails To Provide Treatment For A UTI
It is crucial that the physicians and nursing home staff recognize many of the obvious symptoms and signs of patients displaying urinary tract infections. Often times, UTI treatment requires antibiotic medications to stave off bacteria. The patient might require a regimen of medications taken until the UTI clears. In some incidences, the urinary tract infection is so severe it requires hospitalization until there is a resolution of the condition. Anytime there is a failure to diagnose a UTI in a timely manner and start treatments, it can lead to devastating results including serious harm, or death.
If a loving family member is suffering a catheter injury or urinary tract infection it is essential to contact the offices of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC at (888) 424-5757. Our experienced nursing home lawyers can evaluate the case, and discuss legal options on stopping the abuse and neglect of a loved one in the nursing home.