The New Jersey Department of Health (“Department”) announced on October 23, 2018 that six children in a New Jersey nursing and rehabilitation facility have died from an adenovirus that has sickened eighteen children. The New Jersey nursing home cares for long-term-care pediatric patients, some of whom are on ventilators and have tracheal tubes.
The Department’s news release stated: “The Department of Health today is confirming 18 cases of adenovirus among pediatric residents at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell. Of these 18 cases, there have unfortunately been six deaths of pediatric residents. The facility has been instructed not to admit any new patients until the outbreak ends and they are in full compliance. A Department team is at the facility today and an inspection team was also there Sunday. The team on Sunday found minor handwashing deficiencies and the Health Department is continuing to work closely with the facility on infection control issues. This is an on going outbreak investigation.
Adenoviruses are a family of viruses that often cause mild illness, particularly in young children. Unfortunately, the particular strain of adenovirus (#7) in this outbreak is affecting medically fragile children with severely compromised immune systems. The strain has been particularly associated with disease in communal living arrangements and can be more severe.”
A Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Summary Statement of Deficiencies for the New Jersey nursing home dated May 15, 2017 stated, “Based on observation, record review and interview it was determined that the facility failed to ensure infection control practices were followed. This deficient practice was identified for 2 of 27 residents reviewed for infection prevention, Resident #1 and #5 and for 11 of 11 medication carts inspected on pediatric floors 1 and 2.”
Handwashing And Infection Control
The CDC warns: “Most germs that cause serious infections in healthcare are spread by people’s actions. Hand hygiene is a great way to prevent infections. However, studies show that on average, healthcare providers clean their hands less than half of the times they should. This contributes to the spread of healthcare-associated infections that affect 1 in 25 hospital patients on any given day. Every patient is at risk of getting an infection while they are being treated for something else. Even healthcare providers are at risk of getting an infection while they are treating patients. Preventing the spread of germs is especially important in hospitals and other facilities such as dialysis centers and nursing homes.”
If your child was harmed while a resident of a nursing home in New Jersey or in another U.S. state due to nursing home neglect, nursing home negligence, nursing home abuse, nursing home under-staffing, or the nursing home failing to implement proper infection controls, you should promptly find a New Jersey nursing home claim lawyer (New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer)or a nursing home claim lawyer in your state who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and file a nursing home claim on behalf of your child, if appropriate.
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