A study recently published in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology claims that a number of strains of community-assisted methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are currently present in nursing homes across the country. MRSA is a bacteria that has become resistant to the antibiotics normally used to combat staph infections. The bacteria are often found in hospitals and other medical care facilities where invasive procedures are performed. Community-assisted MRSA is a fairly new variation of the bacteria and can affect otherwise healthy individuals.
As part of the study, researchers from the University of California, Irvine, reportedly analyzed data regarding community-acquired MRSA that was collected from nursing homes in Orange County, California between October 2008 and May 2011. Researchers took samples from 200 nursing home patients who were residing in one of 22 different facilities. Half of the samples were taken from individuals who were recently admitted to a nursing home. Researchers allegedly found that 25 percent of the residents who tested positive for MRSA actually had community-acquired MRSA. In addition, the bacteria were found at 20 of the 22 skilled nursing facilities that participated in the study.
Study authors claim community-assisted MRSA infections are just as dangerous as MRSA infections acquired in a hospital setting. According to lead researcher Courtney Reynolds-Murphy, more effective and targeted measures should be taken in nursing homes and other facilities in order to prevent and combat the spread of the potentially deadly bacteria. In addition, researchers stated the prevalence of such bacteria is likely to increase in hospitals throughout the nation because ill nursing home residents are often admitted directly to such institutions. Reynolds-Murphy said hospital rates of community-acquired MRSA have steadily increased since the strain of bacteria was initially discovered.
The study authors reportedly found that community-acquired MRSA rates were highest in skilled nursing facilities that served a greater percentage of patients under the age of 65. Researchers purportedly believe the disparity was caused by the fact that senior citizens are generally less mobile than their younger counterparts. Younger residents are allegedly more likely to interact with others which may increase exposure across a nursing home or other population.
Because residents normally live in close proximity, bacteria like community-assisted MRSA can be spread easily in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. The use of effective sanitation measures is vital to maintain the health of skilled nursing facility patients. Although nursing home employees in Illinois are required by law to ensure simple precautionary measures designed to control the spread of illness are used, too many reportedly fail to do so. This can have a devastating impact on long-term care facility residents. If your friend or family member died after he or she contracted a preventable disease at a skilled nursing facility located in Illinois, you are advised to speak with a quality nursing home abuse and neglect attorney.
If someone close to you was the victim of neglect or abuse while residing in an Illinois nursing home, please give the knowledgeable lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. a call at (312) 475-9596. Our capable Chicago area nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week to help you protect the rights of your elderly and disabled friends and loved ones. For a free consultation with a diligent advocate, do not hesitate to contact Abels & Annes, P.C. through the law firm’s website.
West Suburban Senior Services Opens Elder Abuse Forensic Center in Forest Park, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, February 15, 2013
Additional Community Partnership Programs Designed to Improve Elder Care in Illinois and Nationwide Announced, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, February 10, 2013
MRSA Infection Rates Soaring In Nursing Homes Says Study, by Connie K. Ho, redorbit.com