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Articles Tagged with infections

coronavirus-4923544_1920-1-1024x576During the global COVID-19 pandemic, elderly populations are among the most vulnerable to the virus and its devastating effects. Nursing Homes are especially vulnerable, as elderly or immunocompromised residents are clustered together.

An analysis by the Chicago Tribune finds that federal nursing home inspection records show that Illinois’ nursing home facilities are among the worst in the nation for preventing patient infections. The Tribune found that one of the major factors leading to poor infection rates is a failure to follow rules to prevent and contain infections.

The Tribune analysis found that 642 out of 723 Illinois nursing homes, or 89%, have been cited for violating infection control regulations at least once since 2016. Moreover, the Tribune found 77 facilities in the Chicago area that had three or more citations since 2016. Nine of those had five or more citations and one had seven. This is especially troubling at the present time, as preventing the spread of COVID-19 requires nursing homes to strictly adhere to infection control measures.

elderly-1461424_1920-thumb-350x233-90117-thumb-350x233-97162-300x200When you place your loved one in the care of trained staff at a nursing home, the last thing you think about is the possibility that your relative may succumb to a fatal infection. But that is what is happening around the country, as elderly patients in overcrowded nursing homes fall victim to severe infections–called sepsis–as a result of bedsores, according to an investigation by Kaiser Health News and The Chicago Tribune.

A federal report recently revealed that sepsis is the most common reason for transferring patients from a nursing home to a hospital, and death occurs much more often in sepsis cases than in hospitalizations for other reasons. Sadly, as many as 25,000 patients a year are transferred to hospitals suffering from sepsis, according to a report by a private health care data firm. And the statistics in Illinois are similarly bleak: every year about 6,000 nursing home residents are hospitalized for sepsis, and 1 in 5 pass away.

Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening complication of a serious infection in the bloodstream that can develop in bedridden patients. These serious infections are often the result of bedsores–also called pressure sores–that go untreated in nursing homes. Fully 60% of nursing homes in Illinois have been cited for failing to properly treat bedsores. Elderly residents, who may be in fragile health already, can have difficulty recovering from sepsis, and that is why it is so deadly.

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