While the drug resistance crisis wages on, nursing home residents are facing unique challenges to their safety, as many patients at long-term care facilities are too weak to fend off serious infections. That means nursing homes have a responsibility to protect their residents from drug-resistant bacteria, viruses, and fungi – a responsibility that many of the nation’s nursing homes are currently failing.
According to a groundbreaking report from the New York Times, a drug-resistant and deadly strain of Candida auris fungus has infected over 800 people since its arrival in the United States in 2015. Many of the infected patients have been nursing home residents, with over 396 infected and 496 carrying the germ in New York nursing homes alone.
What Are the Consequences of Candida Auris Infection?
Potent, resilient, and immune to most antifungal medications, Candida auris has gained a deadly reputation at hospitals and care facilities. The fungus is so persistent that many healthcare providers are reluctant to even admit a patient infected with C. auris. Even more alarming is the fact that individuals can serve as silent “carriers” for the fungus without showing any symptoms – making it all too easy to spread, especially in crowded healthcare settings.
Because they live in close quarters and often endure unsanitary conditions, nursing home residents are perhaps the most vulnerable to these drug-resistant bacteria and fungus colonies. As the New York Times article notes, a recent study in the Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases found that long-term care residents have astronomically high rates of colonization for drug-resistant pathogens. In fact, 65% of all nursing home residents in Southern California are harboring one of these germs.
While carrying a drug-resistant pathogen does not automatically cause you to become ill, it does increase the risk of fatality and long-term complications, particularly for the elderly. This is because the elderly often have weakened immune systems and pre-existing conditions that can be compounded by a powerful pathogen. At a nursing home, it only takes one small wound or infection for a Candida auris carrier to become dangerously ill.
Holding Nursing Homes Accountable for Infections
There’s a reason that nursing homes have elevated rates of drug-resistant infections, even when compared to other healthcare providers. These facilities are often understaffed and under-monitored by medical professionals. When infections do happen, the staff may even attempt to cover it up, delaying treatment for the sick and wounded in order to preserve reputations.
At Brown & Barron, LLC, our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys fight hard on behalf of Baltimore nursing home residents who have been injured. It’s our goal to hold these institutions accountable for failing our elderly citizens – and to secure fair compensation for residents and their families. If your loved one has fallen prey to Candida auris or another deadly infection at a nursing home, don’t hesitate to review your case with our qualified attorneys.
We’ll strive to maximize your compensation after a nursing home injury or illness. Call (410) 698-1717 24/7 for a free consultation.