Nursing homes, unfortunately, are places where disease can be easily spread if the proper precautions and safety measures are not in place. Several Allegheny County, PA nursing homes in close promixity to each other are experiencing outbreaks of Legionnaire's Disease in the past several days. Legionnaire's disease is a form of pneumonia caused by the Legionella bacteria, which thrive and grow in warm water supplies. Symptoms of this disease occur 2-14 days after exposure, and most commonly consist of complaints of fever, chills, cough, muscle aches, and headaches. Older people are mores susceptible to this disease, which has a mortality rate of between 5-30%. For the Allegheny County nursing homes, local health officials believe that the cause of the outbreaks may be linked to a new water system that was installed to prevent residents from scalding from hot water. Water from the facilitates has tested positive for the Legionella bacteria, and all residents are now using bottled water until the problem can be resolved.
Private nursing homes vary greatly in the care they give to their patients, from exceptionally good to unreasonably bad. In some cases, nursing home staff may even abuse their patients sexually, physically, mentally, and financially. Attorney Doug Stoehr has litigated many claims involving nursing home abuse and negligence in the western and central Pennsylvania area. If you suspect that a loved one may not be receiving proper care in a nursing home setting, it is worthwhile to look into the matter and, when necessary, consult with an attorney about a possible claim. For more information about Attorney Stoehr's law firm, please click here.