As of Sunday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services directed U.S. nursing homes to report coronavirus cases directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as to patients and their families. The CDC has not formally tracked the number of COVID-19 cases that spread inside nursing homes for vulnerable elderly patients and thousands have died. Measures to reduce visitor, staff, and resident traffic were placed at many facilities to decrease the spread of germs from the community, but have left some residents to go through severe illness and death alone.  This tracking between the two agencies can reveal data regarding increased resident expense relevant to COVID-19 cases.

Nursing home inaction.

Protocols that include isolation and quarantine are among the best ways to stop the spread of the virus. When nursing home administration and staff  recognize symptoms of a communicable disease such as COVID-19, individuals who are suspected of being sick should be isolated from other at-risk residents.  Without this action, negligence may have occurred. If you, or a loved one suffered injury through extended illness from the mishandling of infectious disease protocols due to sustained exposure to other sick residents, contact a personal injury attorney who specializes in nursing home laws in Indiana to review your case.

Isolation protocols.

There are national standards of care that most states have adopted for nursing homes and long-term care facilities that include measures to protect residents through infection control procedures that minimize risks of infection through daily care; reduce risk of virus transmission between residents and nursing home staff; and inform patients and families of communicable diseases at a residence. The standards include a duty of care owed to residents of nursing homes to ensure that all residents receive care that meets current professional standards in the health care field.  Nursing home abuse includes acts of negligence that cause, or exacerbate existing health conditions or place residents in danger.

Lingering illness and treatment.

Deviations from methods of maintaining sanitary conditions may be considered a breach of the appropriate level of care, leaving residents at risk of a lengthy bout of the illness with prolonged medical treatments. In the worst case scenario, a resident might die due to complications of COVID-19 or treatments recommended.

Compensation.

Damages related to costs of medical care associated with an accident or injury can include reimbursement for treatment already received and compensation for the estimated costs of future medical care resulting from a COVID-19 infection. Other remedies are available based on the case.

 Wrongful death.

A wrongful death action can be brought forth in Indiana when a person’s death is caused as a direct result of neglect or carelessness by another party.  An experienced attorney can assist with determinations of legal action based on the individual case regarding personal injury or wrongful death.

Sources.

Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA) of 1987

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