Infections are a major cause of hospitalization and death in nursing homes. Nearly 380,000 people die of the infections in nursing homes every year.
A urinary tract infection is caused when bacteria enter the urethra and infect the bladder or kidneys. The bacteria then multiply in the urine, and an infection develops. If the infection spreads into the bloodstream, then it can cause fatal problems like acute or chronic kidney failure.
The risk of death from urinary tract infection is especially high in elderly people, which is why nursing homes are required to take steps to prevent UTIs. When a nursing home resident develops a UTI, he or she should receive treatment for the infection as soon as possible.
Yes. Residents and their families may have a claim against the nursing home if the UTI was avoidable.
But what does avoidable mean? Whether a UTI is avoidable entirely depends on the nursing home’s actions.
Federal and Georgia regulations require that nursing homes do the following:
So, a UTI is avoidable if the nursing home fails to take any of the three steps above.
When the UTI is avoidable, the resident’s family can make several claims against the nursing home. Recovery in a nursing home UTI lawsuit may be for medical bills, pain and suffering, and if applicable, wrongful death.
Nursing homes are required by Georgia law to have UTI prevention measures. Preventions measures must be specific to each resident’s needs and include:
There are two basic requirements to suing a nursing home for a UTI:
In order to be successful in your case, you need sufficient evidence of both negligence and causation.
Why isn’t enough to show the nursing home’s negligence?
Because of the nature of a UTI, there could be many, many, causes other than or in addition to the nursing home’s negligence. The nursing home’s bad act must have actually caused the UTI to the reasonable exclusion of other causes.
How is causation proved in a nursing home UTI case?
Proving causation can often be the most expensive and difficult portion of a UTI case. Often, medical experts, analysis of labs and cultures, and cataloging medical records is required. At the end of the day, a witness must testify under oath, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that the UTI is a result of the nursing home’s actions, not the resident’s age, health, or other factor.
Not every urinary tract infection in a nursing home is avoidable. A nursing home is liable only where negligence leads to a UTI and serious injury.
Most often, a UTI lawsuit is the result of negligent behavior, not abuse.
Nursing home negligence that leads to a UTI may allow the resident’s family to sue the nursing home.
If a resident dies from a UTI in a nursing home, then there are potentially two claims that can be made. One is for personal injury that is brought by the resident’s Estate. The other is for wrongful death. The Georgia Wrongful Death Act determines who brings the claim and who shares in the recovery.
The following situations outline who can bring the claim for wrongful death and who can share in the recovery.
Remember, the above is only for the wrongful death claims, not any other applicable claims (i.e., personal injury or for the Nursing Home Bill of Rights).
A UTI is caused when bacteria enter the urethra and infect the bladder or kidneys. Over 20% of infections in nursing homes come from the urinary tract. Risk factors for developing UTIs in nursing homes include the following:
If your loved one developed an infection at a nursing home or assisted living facility, and you are wondering if you have a claim, please feel free to call and speak to one of our experienced Georgia nursing home abuse lawyers today. Our consultations are always free. If you would like more information about this topic, be sure to click on our other videos, or better yet, click the subscribe button to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Thank you.