According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), two-thirds of nursing home residents will receive at least one course of antibiotics this year and as many as 25 to 75 percent of these prescriptions will not be appropriate. As a result, 27,000 nursing home residents are predicted to develop antibiotic resistant infections and many will die because their conditions are untreatable.
The CDC estimates that antibiotic-resistant infections such as Clostridium difficile (c.dif.) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are associated with 23,000 deaths and 2 million illnesses in the United States each year. In response, the Obama Administration has implemented an initiative to stop the unnecessary use of antibiotics that may change patients’ care and treatment, especially in nursing homes, Forbes recently reported.
Approximately 250,000 nursing home residents suffer from pneumonia, urinary tract infections (UTIs), or skin infections, which can be prevented if proper care is used. The hope is that the new initiative will cause nursing homes to reevaluate their care and reduce the number of infections that are treated with these drugs.
Additionally, nursing home facilities can establish stricter guidelines for dispensing antibiotics. The initiative recommends that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration create new regulations to evaluate urgently needed antibiotics, and that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services develop rules by 2017 that require hospitals and nursing homes to implement best practices for antibiotic use.
The attorneys at Sommers Schwartz have represented many residents and their families in actions against nursing homes where improper care has resulted in injury or death. If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of nursing home negligence or any other suspected medical malpractice, please contact us today.