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Nursing Home Infections in Los Angeles

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Nursing Home Infections in Los Angeles

Infection is a major cause of disease and mortality in elderly individuals living in nursing homes. Infections have become common in nursing homes for many different reasons:

  1. Often, staff members at nursing home facilities have not had adequate training regarding infections and may not know or understand how to control them;
  2. Elderly persons may be residing in nursing homes to begin with due to any number of diseases. Diseases often affect a person’s immune system, which can make them more susceptible to contracting an infection;
  3. Residents in nursing homes and similar facilities may be residing in confined living areas. Many daily activities in these facilities involve gathering in groups, which may help spread an infection around;
  4. Some residents in these facilities may suffer from cognitive impairments which affect their ability to engage in basic hygiene precautions, which may then help to spread an infection.

Common Infections in Nursing Homes and Skilled Nursing Facilities

Some of the most prevalent infections that occur in these facilities include pneumonia, scabies, sepsis, and urinary tract infections. These infections may cause serious injury, or even death.


Pneumonia is a common illness that involves a respiratory infection of the lungs. It affects millions of people each year in the United States. It has been estimated that over 60% of all respiratory illnesses are pneumonia.


Scabies is a skin disease that is also common in nursing homes. This skin disease is contagious and is caused by itch mites, or Sarcoptes scabiei. The elderly population tends to be more susceptible to scabies than the general population, due to their weakened immune systems. Scabies infections are serious and can lead to additional infections and even death if not treated properly.


Sepsis is a very severe infection in which bacteria overwhelms the bloodstream. This can be more dangerous for elderly individuals due to their weakened immune systems. As sepsis progresses, it will start to affect organ function. Ultimately, it may result in septic shock, which is a drop in blood pressure that may be fatal.

Symptoms of sepsis include the following:

  • Heart rate that is higher than 90 beats per minute
  • Body temperature below 95 degrees or above 101.3 degrees
  • Respiratory rate that is higher than 20 breaths per minute

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Urinary tract infections can occur anywhere along the urinary tract. These infections are most common in nursing homes. It is estimated that anywhere from 25% to 50% of all nursing home residents will have urinary tract infections. These infections can be asymptomatic, so they may not be caught as early as some other infections may be.

Nursing home neglect and abuse may result in infections spreading throughout the facility, or infections developing in individuals who should not have contracted them if proper standards of care had been followed. If you or a loved one suffered an infection due to the negligence of a nursing home or assisted care facility, our attorneys may be able to help you. Contact us today at the Peck Law Group to schedule a consultation to meet with one of our skilled attorneys.


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