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Candida Auris Is the Latest Scary Drug-Resistant Infection in Florida Nursing Homes

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Even though the ads on TV might suggest otherwise, most cases of nursing home neglect do not involve nurses intentionally mistreating patients or withholding care from them.  In most cases, nursing homes are simply understaffed, and the nurses do their best to care for more patients than they can reasonably be expected to handle.  Therefore, many lawsuits related to nursing home neglect arise when patients contract preventable infections because nursing home staff did not have time to conduct thorough infection control procedures.  Perhaps the nurses changed their gloves less often, washes their hands less frequently, or did not sterilize all the equipment that needed to be sterilized.  Many nursing home infections involve microorganisms that would not sicken a healthy person; the nursing home residents only get sick with these infections because their health is already fragile.  If you want to avoid this nightmare scenario, then doing thorough research on nursing homes before you or your elderly relative needs to move into one is the best solution; contact a Florida nursing home planning attorney.

The Super Fungus Attacking Florida Nursing Homes

Candida auris is a species of fungus first discovered in 2009.  It can cause rapidly spreading infections in the bloodstream and central nervous system.  As of 2019, all documented cases of C. auris-related disease have been nosocomial infections, meaning that the patients were infected and fell ill in hospitals and nursing homes.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published its most recent update on the C. auris outbreak in Florida in September 2019.  It said that C. auris cases have been reported in nursing homes in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.  It urged healthcare providers to report any confirmed or suspected cases of C. auris infection to the Department of Health.

While any infection can be catastrophic to a person whose health is fragile enough to require residential care, most frightening thing about C. auris is that it does not respond to treatment by most antifungal drugs.  Thus, the news media have called it a “super fungus,” by analogy with the drug-resistant bacteria known as “super bugs,” such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

  1. auris Infections Are Preventable

The CDC’s update urged healthcare workers to adhere to proper standards of hygiene and infection control to prevent the spread of C. auris.  It is not a highly contagious infectious agent like, for example, cold and flu viruses.  It can only be spread through contamination.  If someone at your loved one’s nursing home gets a C. auris infection, you should worry, and you should take action to protect your family member.  Before you choose a nursing home, you should thoroughly investigate the history of nosocomial infections in the facility.

Contact an Attorney Today for Help

The more carefully you plan for your nursing home care, the less likely you are to end up in a facility where you are exposed to preventable infections.  A Clearwater nursing home planning attorney can help you make a plan and articulate it to your family.  Contact William Rambaum in Oldsmar, Florida to discuss your questions.

Resource:

floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/health-care-associated-infections/_documents/candida-auris-information-for-clinicians-and-laboratorians.pdf

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