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Legal Options for Victims of MRSA in Nursing Homes

Nursing home patient receiving treatment from a doctor for MRSA infection.

When facilities fail to protect residents' health, we hold them accountable.

One of a nursing home's most important responsibilities is protecting residents from infections. Most nursing home residents have compromised immune systems and other risk factors that make them especially vulnerable, and many are not capable of taking steps to protect themselves. Among the most deadly infections that can be found in nursing homes is MRSA, or methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus.

Unfortunately, too many nursing homes fail to take the right steps to protect residents from MRSA and other deadly infections, and the consequences can be severe. That's why it's so important for families to know their rights and options to hold facilities accountable.

What is MRSA?

MRSA is a type of staph infection that commonly spreads in healthcare settings, including nursing homes and similar facilities. MRSA is particularly dangerous because it is resistant to antibiotics. It thrives in nursing homes because many residents are on antibiotics at any given time, and they also frequently go back and forth from hospitals and other healthcare settings.

How is MRSA spread in nursing homes?

Usually, MRSA spreads by touch between people or on contaminated surfaces. Some ways MRSA may spread in a nursing home include:

  • Sharing personal items such as towels and razors
  • Staff failing to wash their hands after touching an infected resident
  • Contamination of shared surfaces such as tables and railings
  • Direct contact between residents

MRSA is thankfully not very dangerous as long as it remains on the skin, but if it gets inside the body, for instance through bedsores or other wounds, it can cause a life-threatening infection.

How nursing homes can and should prevent MRSA from spreading

While totally eliminating infections is very difficult, nursing homes can take steps to limit the spread of MRSA and other deadly bacteria. Those steps include sanitizing shared surfaces, thoroughly cleaning items such as utensils, making sure residents don't share personal items that can spread bacteria, and properly training and supervising staff to ensure they wash their hands frequently.

Again, MRSA is only life-threatening when it gets inside the body. Nursing homes need to conduct regular body audits to check residents for bedsores and other wounds that could become infected with MRSA, and they need to follow proper wound care protocols whenever an injury is discovered. Preventive measures such as turning residents in bed to stop bedsores from developing is also critical.

When a resident does develop an infection, the nursing home needs to respond appropriately. That means promptly diagnosing the infection by checking residents' temperatures and monitoring for other symptoms. And it means getting the resident medical attention as soon as possible when an infection does develop to prevent serious complications such as sepsis and septic shock.

Legal options for families of MRSA victims

If your loved one was infected with MRSA in a nursing home, you have the right under Georgia law to hold the facility accountable for their negligence. However, you need to prove that the facility's carelessness caused your loved one's illness.

That's why you need an experienced nursing home neglect attorney who can conduct a thorough investigation, including reviewing medical records, interviewing witnesses, and more. Your lawyer's job is to get to the bottom of what happened and take appropriate legal action against the nursing home and any other responsible parties.

At Kurle Justus, LLC, our mission is to stand up for Georgia families and hold negligent nursing homes accountable. If your loved one became ill or died due to a MRSA infection, give us a call for a free, confidential consultation.

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