Sweeney Julian
Sweeney Julian

Your Premier Indiana Personal Injury Trial Attorneys

Your Premier Indiana Personal Injury Trial Attorneys

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Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
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Are UTIs a sign of nursing home neglect?

On Behalf of | Mar 26, 2024 | Personal Injury |

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common for men and women of all ages, but they’re particularly troublesome for the elderly. 

They’re also the number one most common infection among residents in residential care facilities, and they can be a sign of nursing home neglect. 

What’s the connection between UTIs and nursing home neglect?

A UTI is any infection of the urethra, bladder or kidneys. They’re typically bacterial infections, but some fungi and viruses can also cause them. Symptoms include cloudy urine that has a foul smell, pain, urinary urgency, frequent urination and sometimes even fevers and confusion.

Recurrent UTIs can be an indication of neglect due to:

  • Poor hygiene practices: A lot of elderly patients suffer from cognitive and physical issues that make it difficult for them to properly clean themselves after going to the bathroom. When caregivers neglect to assist them with their personal hygiene, that can cause repeat infections.
  • Unnecessary catheterization: Urinary catheters have their place, but catheter use increases the risk of a UTI. If the staff at a nursing home pushes for a catheter on a patient because it means less work for them, that’s unacceptable.
  • Failures to treat: Delayed detection and treatment of UTIs are a huge problem in nursing homes. Despite the noticeable symptoms, UTI symptoms can be ignored by staff members until the patient develops life-threatening complications, like sepsis.

Because older people often have weakened immune systems that make them susceptible to infection, not every UTI is a sign of nursing home neglect – but you should be suspicious of neglect if your loved one has recurrent UTIs, a UTI that goes untreated until they require hospitalization or they become septic. If you believe that your loved one has suffered neglect in a caregiver’s hands, it may be time to learn more about your legal options.