Our attorney, Bert Louthian, was recently featured in an article published by WIS News 10, addressing the real problem of COVID-19 infections in nursing homes. Bert Louthian is committed to fighting to keep nursing homes safe, especially during this time when nursing homes are the source of many COVID-19 deaths. Nursing homes have always struggled with the problem of controlling infections, but COVID-19 has exposed the cracks in the system, and it has exploited the weaknesses of nursing homes that had already weak infection control practices to begin with. Louthian noted that things that were once viewed as minor issues, like basic hand washing, disinfecting equipment, or not staying home when sick, are now incredibly major issues because of COVID-19.
According to WIS News 10, nursing home residents made up 43.9% of all COVID-19 deaths in South Carolina. More alarming, WIS News 10 found that in 60 of 101 of the nursing homes identified to have COVID-19 infections, nursing home staff and management failed to “implement an infection prevention and control program.” Nursing home residents are among the most vulnerable to succumbing to COVID-19. It is more important than ever that nursing homes take steps to prevent infection and to have a program in place about what to do should an outbreak in the nursing home take place. WIS News 10 noted various violations, but the violations included using dirty gloves or contaminated laundry that could have posed an infection risk to residents. What are some issues that have been identified with nursing homes and the spread of COVID-19? The Louthian Law Firm is a nursing home abuse and neglect law firm in Columbia, South Carolina committed to fighting nursing home neglect. Let’s take a look at some of the issues that have been noted in nursing homes at this crucial time.
Nursing Homes & COVID-19: Major Problems
What are some of the major problems plaguing nursing homes during the era of COVID-19? Things like basic cleanliness, crowding, and lack of adequate staff can become major issues if an outbreak of coronavirus strikes a nursing home. What are some issues that have been identified with nursing homes and the spread of COVID-19?
- Failure to wash hands or practice basic sanitation procedures. Simple sanitation practices like washing hands, disinfecting surfaces, and cleaning equipment between uses are more important than ever now. When nursing home staff fail to observe these basic procedures, COVID-19 can spread, residents can get sick, and even die.
- Nursing homes that work with limited staff could find themselves in a tough position or understaffed if an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs in the nursing home. Staff may be forced to come to work sick if the nursing home is understaffed, potentially exposing residents to the deadly disease.
- Nursing homes need to have clear communication and testing procedures in place for what to do if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs. How will family and loved ones be informed? How will staff be informed about the outbreak so they can get tested? How will quarantine and isolation procedures be managed? Families should call their loved one’s nursing home now to find out exactly what plan, if any, is in place.
- Nursing homes that are actively admitting new residents should have a plan in place for screening new residents and possibly isolating new residents until it is clear they don’t have the virus.
According to AARP additional issues nursing homes have been having are:
- Shortage of tests for COVID-19
- Shortages of PPE
- Shared room and spaces
These are just some of the issues that have been observed in the era of COVID-19. Has your loved one fallen ill with COVID-19 while in a nursing home? Are you having problems getting answers about the steps taken to protect your loved one, or was your loved one’s nursing home uncommunicative with you about your loved one’s condition? Families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 or whose loved ones got very sick in a COVID-19 outbreak may have the right to seek justice and fight back. The Louthian Law Firm is a nursing home abuse law firm in Columbia, South Carolina that may be able to help your family if your loved one fell ill while in a nursing home.
What You Can Do If Your Loved One in a Nursing Home is Sick with COVID-19
According to AARP, the best thing loved ones can do if a family member is in a nursing home with a COVID-19 outbreak or if a loved one is sick is to remain in communication with your loved one as much as possible. Find ways to connect with your loved one through the internet, videoconferencing, or other means. Nursing homes also have a requirement to tell family and loved ones within 12 hours of having a confirmed COVID-19 case. So, if your loved one fell sick and you weren’t informed, your nursing home could be in violation of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services rules.
Have questions about your rights if a loved one fell ill with COVID-19 in a nursing home? Do you think your loved one might have suffered from nursing home abuse or neglect? The Louthian Law Firm is a nursing home abuse and neglect law firm in Columbia, South Carolina that may be able to help you and your family. Contact our law firm today or reach out to USAttorneys.com to learn more.
Bert Louthian has been practicing law in Columbia with his father, Herb, since 1985. After receiving his Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina, Bert launched his legal career in his father’s firm. With 80 years of legal experience between them, Louthian Law, P.A. remains Family-Owned and Family-Focused.
Bert understands that when life goes wrong – when you or someone you love gets hurt or suffers a loss, it can feel like nothing will ever be right or fair again. He gets up and goes to work every day to prove that feeling wrong – and does everything in his power to make things right again.