It’s easy to assume that nursing homes appropriately take care of infectious diseases and illnesses to prevent them from spreading to other patients—but this isn’t always the case.
According to the CDC, scabies outbreaks have occured at nursing homes, long-term care facilities and even hospitals across the country. But we don’t often hear about the stories of scabies outbreaks in medical facilities close to home. Earlier this year, the Arkansas Department of Human Services investigated a scabies outbreak at a Camden, Arkansas nursing home.
DHS found that patients at Longmeadow Nursing Care infected with scabies weren’t isolated properly from other patients and treatment precautions were not appropriately taken, according to McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. The infection was so widespread that workers at the Camden nursing home passed mites that cause scabies on to their family members.
Longmeadow was placed on Immediate Jeopardy and was given until the end of March to clean up their act or lose their certifications for Medicare and Medicaid. Time will tell if the nursing facility can recover—but 28 patients at the facility were either affected by or put at risk for serious infections from scabies.
In cases like this when a nursing home or medical facility failed to meet standards of care, such as isolating infected patients and taking preventive precautions, individuals and their families often have the right to sue the facility.
But it’s also often the case that arbitration clauses prevent patients and their families from pursuing legal action in court. These are often called CRPs, which we’ve written about before on our blog. While it’s not the same as having your day in court, individuals often have the right to bring an attorney with them during these arbitrations.
Scabies outbreaks and other similar infectious disease outbreaks at nursing homes are a serious matter. Individuals who are in poor health, are elderly, or have weakened immune systems can be killed by an infection that is painful, but not deadly, to most people. Controlling these types of outbreaks is the nursing homes’ obligation to their patients and their families. If they fail to meet that obligation, patients and their families may be able to seek legal recourse.
If you or a family member experienced a similar situation to the patients at the Longmeadow Nursing Care facility in Camden, Arkansas, we would like to speak with you about your experience. We offer free consultations to learn more about your claim so call us today.