The elderly are more at risk of certain types of infections than the general population. One common infection found in nursing homes is the urinary tract infection. This infection can have serious effects, especially among a population who might not be able to report the symptoms of the infection.
A urinary tract infection (UTI) can cause delirium, debilitating falls, and can lead to fatal blood infections.
Experts are discovering that these infections are common in nursing homes, owing often to poor prevention.
A random survey of nursing homes revealed that a lack of education and a lack of consistent infection prevention practices could raise the risk of infection.
Among younger individuals, a UTI can be a painful annoyance that is generally treated with antibiotics. In an elderly person, however, a UTI can lead to a confused, delirious state and if left untreated, dehydration or an infection in the blood stream.
With so many nursing home patients suffering from conditions like Alzheimers or dementia, it can be difficult for them to communicate the symptoms of a UTI.
A study revealed just how some nursing homes are faring when it comes to preventing UTIs among their patients.
The study found that among 88,000 nursing home residents involved in the study, more than 4,700 people had suffered a UTI.
Catheters used in nursing home care can be a prime source of these UTIs. Patients with catheters were four times more likely to get an infection than those without. Keeping the urine collection bags clean and positioned below the bladder are ways of preventing infection. Also, having portable bladder ultrasound machines to ensure complete evacuation of the bladder can help in preventing infections.
However, only one in five facilities had the policy of using the equipment. Only 44% of facilities had policies about cleaning the urine collection bag.
Families of nursing home residents should know the signs and symptoms of a urinary tract infection. Painful urination, foul smelling urine, and increased frequency of urination. If such symptoms are present, medical staff should be notified and treatment started promptly.
If you have been the victim of abuse or neglect in a nursing home, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the law offices of Schenk Smith. Our attorneys may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.