Osteomyelitis in Maryland Nursing Homes 

Osteomyelitis in Maryland nursing homes is a serious issue that impacts individuals from all backgrounds. Osteomyelitis, an aggressive type of bone infection, is largely caused by other infections that commonly occur in nursing home settings. Since osteomyelitis is often the result of parent infections, it can be a sign of abuse or neglect.

Infections such as bedsores can cause osteomyelitis, but fortunately, such infections can usually be prevented by assisting non-mobile patients and maintaining a sanitary environment. Unclean surfaces, neglectful staff members, and poor monitoring can all lead to patients developing osteomyelitis.

If you or a loved one has suffered from osteomyelitis while in a nursing facility, you might be entitled to compensation. Contact a seasoned nursing home abuse lawyer today.

Causes of Osteomyelitis

Like a urinary tract infection or bedsore, bone infections, such as osteomyelitis, are the result of infected tissue. Once bacteria, the source of the infection, reaches the bone via the bloodstream, the infection can set in and wreak havoc on the body. The bacteria may be so strong it damages the bone itself.

Individuals who are largely confined to their beds are at the highest risk of developing osteomyelitis, especially elderly individuals. Since the elderly are also at the highest risk of developing other infections, such as bedsores or urinary tract infections, which can lead to osteomyelitis. Despite their severity, conditions such as osteomyelitis can be avoided when proper precautions are taken in a nursing home.

Since nursing homes and other types of assisted living facilities have a legal obligation to take care of their residents. To prevent infections such as bedsores and osteomyelitis, nursing home employees should help bedridden or mobility-impaired patients change positions. They should also do whatever is necessary to limit the spread of infections among patients.

Detecting Osteomyelitis in Patients

As stated above, osteomyelitis if often the result of other infections, but the infection itself does have its own symptoms, including:

  • Fever, nausea, and chills
  • Swelling. Pain, and redness in the impacted area
  • Loss of mobility in the impacted area

To diagnose osteomyelitis, physicians and other health professionals may need to perform a variety of tests. Blood tests remain the standard for detecting osteomyelitis, primarily because an elevated white blood cell count is a sign of infection. White blood cells help the body fight infections, and when there is a high number of them, it can mean the body is suffering from an infection the cells are attempting to keep at bay.

More aggressive cases of osteomyelitis are often detectable by CT scan or MRI. Such tests can pinpoint an infection and show how deeply it has penetrated the bone. Also, if a doctor suspects a patient may suffer from osteomyelitis, they may order a biopsy of the bone to see if it is infected.

Unfortunately, patients suffering from osteomyelitis in Maryland nursing homes are at risk of developing other serious medical conditions. Large infections that impact vast areas of the body may require the amputation of a limb. This most often occurs when an infection spreads to the rest of the body through the bloodstream. Patients may also be at risk of developing squamous cell skin cancer.

Talk to an Attorney About Osteomyelitis in Maryland Nursing Homes

Osteomyelitis is a serious condition that can lead to serious medical problems, so nursing homes should acknowledge their role in preventing its spread. If a nursing home staff member notices a patient developing an infection, they should notify a medical professional immediately and take detailed notes of the incident.

If you have any questions about osteomyelitis in Maryland nursing homes, contact an attorney in your area now.