Nursing homes in the United States are on the forefront of taking care of those most susceptible to the coronavirus pandemic in the United States: nursing home residents tend to be elderly (65 and older) with underlying health conditions and compromised immune systems that cause the coronavirus to wreak havoc in their bodies if they become infected with COVID-19.
Adding to the risk of the spread of coronavirus among nursing home residents is that they cannot self-shelter-in-place because nursing home staff need to provide them with routine daily care and required medical care that may increase the risk that an infected nursing home staff member or other nursing home employee who fails to implement proper infection control procedures will spread the virus to otherwise unexposed vulnerable nursing home residents.
Life Care Center Nursing Home In Kirkland, Washington
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on March 23, 2020 the preliminary results of a recent inspection of the Life Care Center nursing home in Kirkland, Washington – “the epicenter of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in that state.” CMS stated in its announcement, “On March 16, 2020, CMS and the Washington Department of Social & Health Services State Survey Agency concluded an inspection of the nursing home facility at the epicenter of the COVID-19 situation in Washington. Two federal surveyors conducted the onsite inspection, including observations of patient care, while Washington State staff assisted offsite by reviewing documents. The inspectors found three “Immediate Jeopardy” situations, which are situations in which a patient’s safety is placed in imminent danger. Specifically, the facility’s failure to rapidly identify and manage ill residents, notify the Washington Department of Health about the increasing rate of respiratory infection among residents, and failure to possess a sufficient backup plan following the absence of the facility’s primary clinician, who fell ill.”
According to CDC data shared with CMS, 147 nursing homes across 27 states have at least one resident with COVID-19 (there are over 15,000 nursing homes in the United States).
The CDC stated on March 18, 2020 with regard to the coronavirus outbreak at the Life Care Center nursing home in Kirkland, Washington: “On February 28, 2020, a case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was identified in a woman resident of a long-term care skilled nursing facility (facility A) in King County, Washington. Epidemiologic investigation of facility A identified 129 cases of COVID-19 associated with facility A, including 81 of the residents, 34 staff members, and 14 visitors; 23 persons died. Limitations in effective infection control and prevention and staff members working in multiple facilities contributed to intra- and interfacility spread.”
At this time we are unable to determine if or when nursing home negligence claims arising from the coronavirus pandemic in the United States may be made. At this time it appears that coronavirus nursing home claims may involve the failure of nursing homes to properly protect their residents and keep them safe from acquiring the coronavirus, the failure of nursing homes to have in place appropriate infection control protocols, the failure of nursing homes and their staff to properly implement appropriate infection control measures, the failure of nursing homes to “rapidly identify and manage ill residents,” the failure of nursing homes to timely diagnose and properly treat residents who become infected with COVID-19, etc.
Nonetheless, if you or a loved one became infected with the coronavirus at a nursing home in the United States, you should promptly contact a local coronavirus medical malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your nursing home coronavirus malpractice claim for you and represent you and/or your loved one in a nursing home coronavirus negligence case, if appropriate.
Click here to visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find nursing home coronavirus attorneys in your U.S. state who may assist you.
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