Nursing Homes and the Risk of Hepatitis A
Posted by PKSD Law Firm on April 13, 2015 in Nursing Homes and Elder Rights
Nursing home residents are a vulnerable population. In many cases, these are patients who already have compromised immune systems or difficulties with their health. If assisted living caretakers or nursing home staff members are not careful to protect them from the spread of dangerous illnesses like hepatitis A, it is likely to cause a serious problem for them.
As obvious as this seems, there are still occurrences where highly contagious or lethal illnesses are introduced into a group home setting. Hepatitis A is one such illness that can spread quickly and inflict major damage on the health of residents and staff members of a nursing home facility.
Pitman, Kalkhoff, Sicula & Dentice’s nursing home abuse attorneys are on the lookout for such negligent behavior. If your loved one contracted an illness like hepatitis A while in the care of an assisted living facility, protect your family’s rights by filing a lawsuit.
Hepatitis A Outbreaks Caused by Negligent Care
Hepatitis A is a preventable illness. With proper sanitation methods, its harmful effects can be contained once it is discovered to be present in a person at the facility. However, when caretakers and staff do not effectively eliminate traces of the virus throughout the home, it is likely to spread to any number of residents, staff members or visitors.
Case Study: Hep A Spreads Throughout Michigan Nursing Homes
Two years ago, this very circumstance arose in a Michigan group home. A resident was diagnosed with hepatitis A and died two days later, but the home did not vaccinate residents to prevent the spread of the disease as it should have.
Four weeks later, another resident was diagnosed with the illness, and over the course of the next three months, the disease spread to six additional residents. Those residents lived in four different nursing homes in the southeast Michigan area.
The patients blood serum was tested and the results showed the strain of hepatitis A was the same among them. A final review of the case hints that the illness was spread by a caretaker who took shifts at two separate vocational centers in the area. That caretaker was un-vaccinated, allowing the disease to spread to other residents and staff members.
A Serious Danger to Residents
Hepatitis A and similar illnesses are a real danger to residents. Nursing home staff and caretakers need to take the utmost care to eliminate the spread of preventable illnesses among an already vulnerable population.
A few basic sanitary measures disinfecting surfaces in common areas, instructing staff and residents to frequently wash their hands could have prevented this outbreak entirely.
Attorneys Against Nursing Home Negligence
At Pitman, Kalkhoff, Sicula & Dentice, our Milwaukee injury attorneys fight on behalf of injured or neglected nursing home patients and their families to set right the wrongs that were done to them. If your loved one has contracted an illness like hepatitis A while in a nursing home, you may have a claim against the negligent parties.