Nursing Home Sanitation Lawyers in New Mexico
When we entrust our parents, grandparents, and other loved ones to nursing homes, we do so with the belief that those responsible will maintain high standards of sanitation and hygiene to protect against infections and illnesses. Sanitation standards in nursing homes are even more vital than in other facilities due to the risk of sickness in the elderly.
If you have a loved one who’s mysteriously developed illnesses or infections, one of the first things to do is to be alert to the level of cleanliness and hygiene standards at the nursing home. If anything is amiss, action needs to be taken right away – both for those you love and everyone else in the facility. At Sorey, Gilliland & Hull, LLP, our attorneys are often called upon to seek justice and compensation in cases of New Mexico nursing home abuse related to poor sanitation.
While there are many ways poor hygiene and sanitation could occur, there are several common violations that we find in nursing homes, including:
- Bathrooms and showers: Toilets, sinks, shower stalls, and all other areas dedicated to personal hygiene are breeding grounds for bacteria if not kept thoroughly disinfected and sanitized. Cross-contamination – the transmission of disease from one patient to another – and the contraction of illnesses are highly likely when nursing homes don’t take adequate care of the bathrooms and showers.
- Food preparation and serving: If food is not handled with proper sanitation, the risk of bacterial diseases and viruses spreading is very high. Sanitation is crucial both in food delivery and the cleaning of food storage and preparation areas.
- Nurse hygiene and cross-contamination: If the nurses and support staff don’t maintain health and sanitation procedures – such as disinfecting hands between patients, wearing gloves, and all other procedures that help to avoid dangerous cross-contamination – the risk of disease and illness spreading is very high.
Infections, especially in an elderly individual with a weakened immune system, can be severe and result in pain, agony, or untimely death. Lack of adequate sanitation and hygiene in hospitals has led to thousands of extended hospital stays and deaths, and the same is true in nursing homes. Some of the common health risks include:
- Urinary tract infections
- Infected pressure ulcers
While negligence on the part of one or more staff members can be the cause of unsanitary conditions, in many cases there is an underlying situation: understaffing. Nursing homes deal with elderly patients who need continuous care, and the support staff often run from one patient to the next with no time to spare. When too few staff exist, those on duty can become overworked and rushed, forgetting to wash their hands or accidentally causing other problems. In some cases, the responsible party may be the managers of the nursing home facility rather than the healthcare worker who directly caused the problem.
The best way to protect your loved ones from any form of nursing home abuse, including unsanitary conditions, is to visit them frequently and be alert to the sights and odors. Each resident of a nursing home has rights and each nursing home has a responsibility to ensure residents receive the care they deserve, as outlined by both the federal Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 and New Mexico state laws. A local New Mexico official, called an ombudsman, is available to help in case of a complaint, and where that fails, an expert elder abuse attorney can help you file a claim to recover compensation.
If you’re loved one gets sick or dies while in a nursing home, was the nursing home to blame? If the nursing home is not hygienic, clean, or does not have well-maintained rooms and facilities, it may be an indicator that lack of sanitation played a role, allowing you to file a claim or lawsuit against the nursing home. In such a case, you need to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
When your loved one is in trouble, you don’t just need “an attorney” – you need a seasoned, experienced, and knowledgeable attorney who is committed to you and your loved one. At Sorey, Gilliland & Hull, LLP, we have the experience and knowledge of a large New Mexico law firm, but with the level of care and dedication that can only be provided by a boutique firm. Contact us today at (903) 212-2822 to schedule a free consultation.
Don't wait to get help. Contact our Albuquerque Nursing Home Abuse lawyer to schedule a free consultation.
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