In recent years, the general public has become increasingly aware of how vulnerable those in nursing homes are to fast-spreading infections. Older adults too often die as a result of seasonal flu viruses as they may struggle to recover from infections that manifest in relatively straightforward ways in younger people.
In recent months, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has begun tracking a new infectious illness caused not by a virus or bacteria but rather by a yeast or fungal infection. Candida auris has spread rapidly in some nursing home facilities, drawing the attention of federal officials and medical workers around the country. This fungal infection is so alarming, in part, because it sometimes leads to the death of the people infected. Preventing the spread of something microscopic in a high-density environment is a real challenge. Can New Mexico nursing homes protect residents from Candida auris?
When a resident in a nursing home falls ill, staff members will need to adjust their practices to protect everyone else. Part of that involves identifying the cause of their illness and taking steps to prevent it from spreading to others. That will be especially true in cases involving highly-contagious and potentially deadly infections like the illness caused by Candida auris. With the right isolation and sanitation practices, a nursing home facility can all but eliminate the possibility of an infectious condition passing from one residence to another. In fact, the far, New Mexico has done relatively well. As of early May 2023, there has only been one confirmed case of Candida auris in the state. However, that could potentially change.
Those in nursing homes could die as a result of just a few minutes of negligence on the part of those providing their care. Whether a preventable infection contracted due to negligent care practices leads to someone’s severe illness or their death, the situation could lead to a claim against the nursing home facility.
Learning more about the issues that nursing homes need to address in order to effectively protect their residents can help family members serve as better advocates for their loved ones who are living in nursing home facilities.