MEDICAL MALPRACTICE AND PERSONAL INJURY LAW BLOG

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Nursing Homes And Faulty COVID Tests

Residents in nursing homes are often forgotten by the outside world. These people are our parents, grandparents, and friends and they deserve compassionate care. Unfortunately, in the time of COVID-19, nursing homes have been hit harder than other communities. Part of the reason why nursing home residents are falling ill and dying is because they are given substandard care. 

Rapid Test Machines for Nursing Homes

Nursing homes struggled with the coronavirus outbreak as they did not have the capacity to test residents, visitors, or employees for the virus. Eventually, the federal government got around to sending nursing home facilities rapid-result test machines

Rapid-test machines can give COVID-19 virus results in a matter of minutes instead of days. However, the complimentary machine came with significant limitations, including the high cost of test kits, inaccurate results, and lack of testing supplies. 

The starter kits came with only enough supplies to last through an initial round of testing. However, the manufacturer left the nursing homes for days or weeks without sending additional testing supplies, leaving employees and visitors coming and going without any testing capacity. 

According to one nursing home operator interviewed for the New York Times, “As far as I’m concerned, this is an unfunded mandate that is not giving us the data we need fast enough to improve either care or protection.”

CDC Nursing Home COVID Testing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued testing guidelines for nursing homes. “Nursing home residents are at high risk for infection, serious illness, and death from COVID-19. Testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in respiratory specimens can detect current infections (referred to here as viral testing) among residents in nursing homes.”

The CDC acknowledged that testing residents, employees, and visitors is important for detecting cases quickly and stopping the transmission of the coronavirus. Guidance also recommended repeat viral testing of all previously negative residents every 3 to 7 days, until there are no positive results for at least 14 days. 

Faulty Protective Equipment

A few months ago, we wrote about how nursing homes were getting defective personal protective equipment (PPE) from the federal government. This was after some family members had filed wrongful death lawsuits against nursing homes for failing to keep residents safe, understaffing, failing to follow sanitation procedures, and failing to provide PPE. 

Wrongful Death of Nursing Home Residents

When nursing home residents die because of an infection, it is not an unavoidable accident. There is often an avoidable cause of the infection, including lack of proper sanitation, negligent training and supervision, or failing to provide timely treatment of an infected patient. A wrongful death lawsuit allows family members to hold the healthcare facility responsible for their actions. 

If a family member died as a result of the negligence of a doctor, hospital, or nursing home, it is important to take action to prevent other families from suffering a similar loss. Your personal injury attorney can help guide you through these difficult times. Call Gilman & Bedigian today for a free consultation.

About the Author

Briggs Bedigian
Briggs Bedigian

H. Briggs Bedigian (“Briggs”) is a founding partner of Gilman & Bedigian, LLC.  Prior to forming Gilman & Bedigian, LLC, Briggs was a partner at Wais, Vogelstein and Bedigian, LLC, where he was the head of the firm’s litigation practice.  Briggs’ legal practice is focused on representing clients involved in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. 

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