MRSA infection, possible neglect?
My mother is 84 years old. She was in a nursing home and became ill. I saw her at the nursing home on 3/10/16, she was sleeping so I didn't get to talk to her. The next morning the nursing home called me and said she had become ill and wanted to know if I wanted to send her to the hospital. I have power of attorney. I told them to do what the Doctor thought best. They sent her to the hospital.
In the emergency room they said she was severely dehydrated, had an infection, and her blood pressure was really low (54/34). She has congestive heart failure, so they admitted her. I then was told she had pneumonia and an infection specialist was called in.
She then was diagnosed with a MRSA infection in her blood stream and they were treating it with antibiotics. This whole time she was sleeping and would acknowledge I was there, but didn't have the strength to talk. It is now 6 days later and there's no improvement. The hospital is going to take her off the antibiotics and called hospice in.
Two or three weeks ago she was talkative and would call me every day. She was in assisted living and I moved her to a nursing home in April 2015 because she was in and out of the hospital (she would not take her medication for the congestive heart failure). I thought this would help her and give her more time.
So now she will not die from the congestive heart failure, but an untreatable MRSA infection she got from the nursing home. The home had a 4 star rating and at $255 a day I wonder how this happened, and why she was so dehydrated when she arrived at the hospital. I am trying to find answers.
Is this neglect? Would this qualify as a wrongful death if she dies from the MRSA? Could we file a lawsuit against the nursing home? Thank you for any information you can give.
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ANSWER for "MRSA infection, possible neglect?":
Robert (Milford, Ohio):
According to the Mayo Clinic:
"Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection is caused by a type of staph bacteria that's become resistant to many of the antibiotics used to treat ordinary staph infections.
Most MRSA infections occur in people who've been in hospitals or other health care settings, such as nursing homes and dialysis centers. When it occurs in these settings, it's known as health care-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA). HA-MRSA infections typically are associated with invasive procedures or devices, such as surgeries, intravenous tubing or artificial joints."
Hopefully, your mother will not perish as a result of the MSRA infection, or because of her dehydration. It appears the infection was quickly diagnosed, and likely treated.
While your mother was admitted to the hospital with symptoms of dehydration, the dehydration in and of itself doesn't seem to have caused any permanent injuries, nor any unnecessary pain and suffering.
At this point, from the facts you present there doesn't appear to be sufficient evidence to support a personal injury claim against the nursing home. Hopefully, your mother will have a full recovery.
In the unfortunate event your mother perishes, and you believe her death was premature and a direct result of nursing home negligence, you will need supporting medical proof from a physician directly linking your mother's premature death to one or more specific acts or omissions by the nursing home's employees (in other words, proof that medical malpractice at the nursing home caused her death).
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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