One of the most commonly diagnosed infections among nursing home patients is a urinary tract infection (UTI). A urinary tract infection can easily be treated with good hydration and antibiotics in most people.
Unfortunately, these may go untreated if the nursing staff is not paying attention to the signs of an infection in a patient. Untreated UTIs can have serious repercussions and potentially lead to death.
What are the signs of a urinary tract infection?
A urinary tract infection may cause unusual symptoms in the elderly. When left untreated and more severe, a UTI may cause confusion or delirium, the inability to perform daily tasks and urinary incontinence. Sudden changes in behavior, fever and nausea may also be signs of a UTI.
What makes UTIs cause confusion among the elderly?
In the elderly, UTIs are more likely to cause confusion because they place stress on the body. Younger people’s bodies are better able to handle that stress. For elders who may already have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, the increased stress may worsen symptoms of those conditions.
Nursing homes know the signs of UTIs
Nursing homes do know the signs of UTIs and should be able to call a medical provider or the patient’s family to have them schedule an appointment if a UTI is suspected. If your loved one was ignored or was left with a UTI that worsened and caused kidney damage or other serious issues, then you may be in a position to file a medical malpractice and elder abuse claim against the facility. This is a known problem for elders, so UTIs should not be overlooked.