Sepsis, a life-threatening complication of an infection, was the most common reason for transfers of nursing home patients to hospitals, and these patients were much more likely to die from sepsis than any other condition, according to a federal report cited in MedPage Today.
Just as devastating is the human and financial toll of these cases. According to an analysis conducted for Kaiser Health News by Definitive Healthcare, a private health care data firm, 25,000 nursing home residents each year developed sepsis and other conditions and were transferred to hospitals, costing Medicare more than $2 billion a year.
“This is an enormous public health problem for the United States. People don’t go to a nursing home so they can get sepsis and die. That is what’s happening a lot,” said sepsis expert Dr. Steven Simpson, a professor of medicine at the University of Kansas.
Sepsis occurs as a result of infections like pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and even bedsores – conditions that are quick to affect vulnerable and bedridden nursing home residents. Bedsores are an especially tender subject for patient advocates because these injuries are largely preventable provided bedridden patients are turned every couple hours and other precautions taken.
Many of these injuries and wrongful deaths result in families filing lawsuits against nursing homes for negligence. Long-term care groups say that understaffing is a continuous problem. Lawyers say that oftentimes staff miss infections, which can quickly turn into larger ailments like sepsis that send these already vulnerable patients to hospitals.
Source: MedPage Today