The United States is grappling with how to handle the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) and the public health crisis it presents. While this virus originated in Wuhan, China, it has moved throughout the world. We now know that the elderly have a higher risk of becoming seriously sick or dying due to COVID-19. At Peddicord & Townsend LLC, our Kansas City nursing home abuse attorneys want to discuss how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting local nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities (SNF) and the nursing home staff, as well as other assisted living facilities in our area.
Have you suffered the loss of a loved one who was in a nursing home, and that family member died from a COVID-19 infection? If you believe there was not enough done to slow the spread of COVID-19 in your family member’s skilled nursing facility (SNF), whether it was due to improper staffing, not having enough personal protective equipment (PPE), or that the care provided in their assisted living facility was not sufficient and could have prevented additional COVID-19 cases then you may want to seek legal advice on how to proceed.
Nursing home deaths, and the number of cases we’re seeing from facility residents, those in a long-term care home, and other assisted living facilities is just far too high, and these new cases of COVID-19 could have been greatly reduced. COVID-19 cases have an alarmingly high death rate for the elderly and high-risk, much more so than the general population. Hospitalizations and number of deaths have continued to climb since the coronavirus pandemic started in early 2020.
As COVID-19 has swept across the nation, we still do not have a grasp on how bad the pandemic will get. One thing is certain – there are certain groups more vulnerable to becoming seriously ill in the event they contract this virus. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those who are 60 years of age and older should take extra caution. The CDC also points out that those with heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and a weakened immune system are also more vulnerable to severe consequences from COVID-19.
This is particularly concerning for those who reside in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities in and around Kansas City. We have seen just how devastating coronavirus can be in a nursing home setting.
The federal government has stressed that nursing homes be extra vigilant with their infection control protocols, particularly those in areas where confirmed cases are nearby. Federal regulations already require nursing homes to have an infection prevention specialist on their staff, but the response of facilities across the country has varied. Some places have significantly restricted visitor access to nursing homes, particularly if they have symptoms related to COVID-19 resident deaths and COVID-19 related deaths.
As we wait for the vaccination plans to get fully underway, we need to take note from what we’ve seen in other states like South Carolina, New Jersey, Minnesota, and New York, and ensure our healthcare system has safeguards in place to prevent as many COVID-19 deaths as possible.
Another major concern is what will happen if quarantines make it impossible for nursing home employees to get to work, or to be able to work due to sickness. Many nursing homes in the Kansas City area are already short-staffed and that can sometimes lead to struggling to provide the best residential care. Losing even more workers due to coronavirus could lead to situations where a nursing home resident’s basic needs are neglected. All nursing home and elderly care facilities in Kansas City should be taking steps to mitigate losses of staff they experience due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We know that the reported deaths and cases are at a severe undercount, as how they are counted can change, and the criteria that defines it is a moving target.
If you or somebody you love is in a nursing home and you have questions about COVID-19, please refer to official statements released by federal and state authorities. If you think that this outbreak has led to a deterioration of care for your loved one in a nursing home, or contributed to COVID-19 deaths, you may need to seek legal assistance.
At Peddicord & Townsend LLC, we are dedicated to helping those who have been abused or neglected in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Our Kansas City nursing home abuse attorneys will look into your case to determine whether you or your family members are entitled to any compensation. You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling us at 816-408-6476.