CDC Finds over 75% of Nursing Homes Incorrectly Use Antibiotics
Posted on behalf of Harbin & Burnett on Oct 19, 2015 in Nursing Home News
Placing the care of a loved one into the hands of strangers is a difficult decision. Nursing homes, in particular, can cause a lot of anxiety and stress for family members. This is made all the harder when you read stories of nursing home abuse, neglect and practices which actually can put the health of residents at greater risk. One such common practice is the overuse of antibiotics, which may increase the presence of resistant strains of bacteria.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently issued a statement regarding the improper use of antibiotic medication in nursing homes. According the CDC, as many as 75 percent of nursing homes may be prescribing antibiotics when it is unnecessary or inappropriate.
Antibiotic resistance is a natural result of antibiotic use. As the drugs kill off bacteria, some of them manage to survive due to genetic resistances. As these bacteria reproduce, the old antibiotics are no longer effective at killing off infections. There is no known way to stop this process, but limiting the use of existing antibiotics can slow the rate that these resistant strains multiply and spread.
Antibiotics are often improperly prescribed as treatment for common viral infections, such as the flu or common cold. Other times, they are used to treat sore throat or bronchitis. Since antibiotics are only effective at killing bacteria rather than viruses, these treatments will not improve the condition of the patient. However, they may kill benign or harmless bacteria in their system, leaving resistant strains, which then multiply and can spread to other patients.
The frequency of this misapplication of antibiotics in nursing homes can result in a higher concentration of resistant bacterial strains. If a patient does contract an illness from one of these strains, then there would be no way to fight them.
If you or a loved one has experienced injury or illness due to nursing home negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Harbin & Burnett, experienced South Carolina nursing home lawyers, today. We will work to get you the justice you deserve.