It is an unfortunate fact that infections have become quite common in nursing homes. Infections in nursing homes are a major cause of disease and even death among elderly persons living in these types of homes. Infections tend to occur at a high rate in nursing homes and assisted living facilities for a few different reasons:
The most common infections residents in nursing home and skilled nursing facilities tend to suffer include: Urinary Tract Infections, Scabies, Pneumonia, Staph, and Sepsis, among others.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
Urinary Tract Infections are infections that may occur anywhere along a person’s urinary tract. Infections of the urinary tract are the most common in nursing home facilities. Approximately 25% to 50% of all patients who live in nursing home facilities will have Urinary Tract Infections. This type of infection can spread quickly as many patients with a Urinary Tract Infection lack symptoms.
Scabies is a skin disease that is also common in nursing homes. It is a contagious and infectious skin disease, caused by Sarcoptes scabiei, which is also known as the itch mite. Because of their weakened immune systems, elderly persons tend to be more susceptible to scabies than those in the general population. In addition to nursing homes, it is also common for outbreaks of scabies to be reported in hospitals, hostels, and other places where elderly people may be residing. If scabies is not treated properly, it can lead to additional infections and death.
Pneumonia is a respiratory infection that occurs in the lungs. It is a common illness that is thought to affect millions of people in the United States every year. The main causes of pneumonia are germs called viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Studies estimate that over 60% of all respiratory illnesses in the United States are pneumonia.
Sepsis is a serious infection in which bacteria overwhelms the bloodstream. This infection is more deadly in elderly persons because of their weakened immune systems. As sepsis progresses, it starts to impact organ function and can eventually lead to septic shock. Septic shock is a drop in blood pressure that can be fatal. It is possible to recover from sepsis with proper and early treatment.
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