The Danger Of Untreated Infections In The Elderly
Infections pose significant risks for the elderly — especially those already suffering from underlying health problems. An infection that could be readily treatable in a healthy person can quickly turn deadly in a vulnerable elder.
Nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospitals must be vigilant about monitoring for infections in elderly patients. Swift medical intervention is essential for keeping the infection under control.
Signs of an infection may include:
- Increased temperature
- Confusion and altered mental status
- Lethargy, weakness and exhaustion
- Decreased appetite
- Increased heart rate
- Blood or pus in a Foley catheter bag
- A wound which becomes red, inflamed or has black necrotic material on it
As soon as care providers identify these symptoms, they should report the infection to a physician, transfer the patient to a hospital or perhaps even call 911. The family members should also be informed.
If an infection goes unnoticed for too long, it can quickly escalate, spreading throughout the patient’s body and leading to catastrophic system failure. This condition — called sepsis — is a life-threatening medical emergency. It can develop quickly in patients with:
- Urinary tract infections
- Severe bedsores/pressure sores
- Strep throat
- Gastrointestinal illnesses
- Open wounds or sores that won’t heal
Get Answers About What Went Wrong
Has your loved one’s life been compromised by an untreated infection? Perhaps they weren’t transferred to a hospital in time to get the appropriate care. Or maybe the infection was overlooked entirely until it became systemic. Maybe it led to a downward spiral that culminated in your loved one’s death.
You don’t have to face such a difficult situation alone. At Ford, Dean & Rotundo, P.A., we can investigate your loved one’s circumstances to find out what went wrong. Our lawyers are not afraid of holding nursing homes, hospitals and other care facilities accountable. We have fought for justice on behalf of aging adults and their loved ones across Florida.
To get started, please call our Miami office at 305-670-2000. Your initial consultation is free. You won’t have to pay attorney fees or costs out of pocket, since we handle these cases on a contingency basis.