Nursing homes are held to the duty to provide patients with proper care.
There is a medical standard that all health care professionals must adhere
to. Most importantly, this includes practicing safe sanitation and cleanliness
standards. As nursing homes and other health care facilities carry many
kinds of germs and bacteria, and have a vulnerable population living in
close proximity to each other, the failure to maintain safe sanitation
and cleanliness standards can lead to serious health risks and complications
Safe sanitation and cleanliness include:
- Washing hands before and after seeing and touching patients
- Wearing gloves
- Changing the patient’s clothing
- Feeding the patient and keeping utensils, surfaces and dishes clean
- Washing and bathing the patient
- Providing the patient with fresh, clean bed sheets
- Proper garbage disposal
- Properly cleaning the rooms, bathrooms and community rooms
- Isolating patients with illnesses
- Recognizing quickly the signs of communicable diseases and infections in patients
A patient exposed to infections and communicable diseases can suffer tremendously,
particularly if he or she is older or already has a weaker immune system.
When Are Nursing Homes to Blame?
Nursing homes can be held responsible, as lack of sanitation and adherence
to guidelines can equate to negligence. Staff must be diligent in keeping
all bathroom and showering facilities as well as the patient’s bedroom
clean. Kitchens and dining rooms where food is prepared and served must
also operate under sanitary conditions. Cleanliness and sanitation are
crucial to a patient’s health, and improperly trained staff, a lack
of staff, and a failure to provide a clean, sanitary environment can lead
to sickness and death in patients.
Neglecting proper sanitation occurs for many reasons. It may be due to
lack of sanitary policies and guidelines, or lack of staff training so
that staff does not fully understand how to maintain a safe, sanitary
environment. Neglect may also be due to insufficient staffing so that
staff members are overworked and incapable of following the rules. Whatever
the reason, the bottom line is that allowing unsanitary conditions is
a form of neglect that can result in a loved one’s sickness and death.
If you believe that your loved one has suffered
nursing home abuse or has become seriously ill due to unsanitary conditions, please contact
our New York nursing home abuse attorneys at Mirman, Markovits & Landau,
P.C. as soon as possible for a free case review.