Urinary tract infections are a problem in many hospitals and nursing home facilities. A major reason for this is unsanitary procedures for handling and working with catheters. While a UTI might not seem serious, they can be very dangerous, even deadly, if they do not receive the proper treatment.
The Danger of UTIs
Many people, regardless of age, can suffer from urinary tract infections. These bacterial infections affect the kidneys, urethra, and bladder. They are more common in women, but they can affect men as well. Some may have a higher chance of developing a UTI, including older adults, pregnant women, and those who have to use a catheter. The urinary tract infections from the hospital are generally those stemming from the use, or misuse rather, of a catheter. When caregivers and medical professionals do not follow the proper procedures for handling catheters, the risk of infection rises.
Medical professionals must always be on the lookout for possible infections, and they need to treat them right away. However, many times, they go unnoticed. When that happens, they can lead to many health problems.
UTI Leads to Death in Texas Case
According to the Southeast Texas Record, the family of a man who was in a nursing home in Mount Pleasant filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the home because they allegedly did not treat the UTI properly, and this they claimed ultimately led to the patient’s death. Imer D. Newman was a patient at the home and developed a urinary tract infection in 2010. The infection did not receive treatment, and the infection eventually went into her bloodstream. She went to the hospital several days after the start of the infection, but by then it was too late to save her according to the suit they filed.
The lawsuit accuses the defendant of being negligent and not assessing and reporting the signs of the infection and not monitoring blood pressure properly. It also states that they were not providing proper care in other areas as well, such as administering her antihypertensive medications. The lawsuit was for wrongful death and survival damages.
More than Just Antibiotics
One of the standard treatments for UTIs has been prescribing a course of antibiotics. When noticed in time, this can be quite effective. A recent study conducted by infectious disease specialists at Rhode Island Hospital found that the number of cases involving bacteria that is resistant to the antibiotic treatment is growing. The leader of the study, Dr. Leonard Mermel, said that it was very worrisome for those practicing medicine, as it meant the drugs they once prescribed for UTI might not work in some cases.
Whenever a UTI, or any type of infection for that matter, is in the body, there is a chance it will spread and worsen if it does not receive the proper treatment. When untreated, they can enter the kidney, which can cause even more pain and health issues. When it enters the bloodstream, infections have the capacity to kill. The term for this is sepsis, and it tends to affect older people.This can put them into septic shock, and nearly a third of all people who contract sepsis around the world will die. Those who survive may still have organs that do not function properly.
What Makes a UTI Case?
With UTI infections, it might not be the actual onset of the infection that makes the case of negligence against the hospital or care facility. Infections happen regularly. How the hospital decided to treat the infection makes the difference. If they do nothing about it and do not even notice it, this could be grounds for a lawsuit.
Those who have suffered from an infection, or who have a loved one who suffered or, unfortunately, passed away from an infection, should speak with an attorney about whether they have a case or not.