While the coronavirus pandemic has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths across the United States, this virus has proven even more fatal to elderly residents in America’s nursing homes. Unfortunately, just like others who have passed from coronavirus, these senior citizens have spent their final hours without the comfort of a family member or loved one by their bedside. This is because restrictions on visitor access at nursing homes has kept family members and loved ones from physically visiting elderly spouses, parents, or grandparents in these facilities. This tragedy is unparalleled in our history.
The state of Nevada has nearly 65 state-regulated nursing homes, commonly referred to as skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). As of June 2020, there were 1,446 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the state of Nevada, including the deaths of 133 SNF residents and four staff members, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS). Whether these deaths were untimely and due to nursing home negligence remains to be seen. Even without a global pandemic, however, many of our population’s most vulnerable suffer or die at the hands of negligent staff in Nevada SNFs and nursing home facilities across the nation.
Nevada Nursing Home Neglect
Generally, nursing home neglect involves a breach of duty or substandard care that harms a SNF resident. During the Coronavirus pandemic, the first SNF in the United States that discovered a COVID-19 outbreak among its elderly residents was in Washington State. The outbreak was studied by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The federal agency issued an early release of their results, which revealed:
- When COVID is introduced into a SNF, the potential of spread among residents, staff members, and visitors is high;
- SNFs have limitations preventing effective control and containment of COVID because, among other issues, staff members often work at multiple facilities;
- SNFs have a critical need of implementing preemptive and active measures to prevent the introduction of COVID into their facilities.
The coronavirus continues to spread throughout America and many parts of the world. As a result, it has been difficult to implement active measures that would either prevent or contain COVID infections in SNFs since the pandemic began. The same supply chain issues that hospitals experienced across the United States — shortages of face masks, gowns, gloves, testing kits, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) — were experienced by SNFs around the country.
Nursing Home Lawsuits
Not surprisingly, nursing home lawsuits have been filed across the nation. The main allegation that plaintiffs are making against SNFs is that the facilities did not have the proper measures in place to prevent and contain COVID infections in the residents, staff, and healthcare providers at these nursing homes. It is true that SNFs are likely to be hot-spots for infection due to the high-risk nature of elderly populations. At the same time, however, SNFs should have the policies, procedures, and equipment in place to limit the risk of mass infections or disease.
Contact a Skilled Nursing Home Negligence Attorney in Nevada Today
No money can make up for the loss of a beloved elderly family member, but a Nevada nursing home lawsuit may help those left behind seek and obtain the justice to which they are entitled. The attorneys at H&P Law have years of experience fighting for the injured across the state of Nevada. Contact us today to schedule your initial case evaluation.