Low Staffing Levels at Nursing Homes May Lead to Increased Infection Rates

Researchers have recently discovered a direct correlation between nursing home staffing levels and infection citations. Every year, roughly 15% of all nursing homes in the United States receive citations for their lack of commitment to infection prevention. According to the recently released study, this staggering fact is due to low staffing levels and harried employees.

Information published in the American Journal of Infection Control announced that researchers at the University of Pittsburgh analyzed data collected by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and found that many nursing homes cited by the agency were short-staffed with employees trying to take short cuts while caring for the elderly and infirm.

Officials examined data from 96% of all nursing homes in the United States pertaining to citations for failing to meet infection control requirements, also known as F-Tag 441 citations. They acknowledged that from 2000 to 2007 nearly one out of seven nursing homes received F-Tag 441 citations regarding their inability to prevent infections. Accordingly, the neglect to prevent the spread of contaminants may lead to the spread of dangerous bacterium. Unfortunately, the numbers indicate that these citations have been on the rise, with only 12.87% being cited in 2000 and 17.31% in 2007.

At the heart of the issue, is why many of these nursing homes neglect to live up to infection standards set forth. The information collected from this study suggests that poorly staffed facilities may often find themselves too pressed for time to follow good infection control measures, such as washing their hands.

The staggering statistics set forth in this study suggest a serious threat to nursing home patients across the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 1.5 million nursing home patients fall victim to unnecessary infection each year. Unfortunately, these infections are to blame for nearly 400,000 death each year. However, the most unsettling fact that presides over these tragic findings is that experts believe most of these potentially life-threatening nursing home infections can be prevented.

Do I Have a Nursing Home Infection Lawsuit?

The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP have decades of experience navigating through complex legislative and regulatory issues and litigating high stakes cases all over the nation. Our law firm focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in nursing home infection lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a nursing home infection, you should contact us immediately. You may be entitled to compensation and / or refund by participating in a class action lawsuit and we can help.