Nursing home residents are highly vulnerable to coronavirus and the potentially lethal respiratory injuries it causes. Nursing home care providers have a responsibility to ensure adequate protections are in place to minimize the risk of contracting and spreading the virus. When care providers are negligent in their duties, data from around the world shows that such negligence has deadly consequences.
CDC Guidelines for Illinois Nursing Homes
COVID-19 is far more dangerous than the common flu. It has a far greater infectivity rate and a considerably higher mortality rate. As such, the CDC advises nursing home providers to exercise an extreme level of caution within their facilities to minimize transmission risk and to contain outbreaks.
Guidelines issued by the CDC to nursing homes in Illinois include regular hand washing, use of disinfectants on common surfaces (door handles, railings, chairs, countertops, etc.) limiting contact between residents and outside visitors, and enhanced monitoring of patient health for signs and symptoms of coronavirus infection. Nursing homes are also advised to enforce social distancing measures and to isolate any patients or staff suspected of having an active COVID-19 infection.
Life Threatening Injuries from COVID-19
Every demographic has demonstrated susceptibility to coronavirus infection. However, data from the United States, Europe, and Asia shows that individuals over the age of 65, and those with preexisting health conditions are most susceptible to serious injury or death. In particular, those over 80 have a mortality rate that far exceeds that of other age groups.
Coronavirus infection causes significant damage to the respiratory system, and recent evidence shows that it can also result in life threatening blood clots. Indeed, it is suggested that a significant number of individuals are dying not from respiratory failure, but rather from blood clots that travel to the lungs or brain. There is also concern that the virus is leading to significant blood thickening which increases the risk of heart attacks.
Moreover, there is growing concern that full recovery from coronavirus infection may not be possible. Many individuals who survive the infection are leaving hospital care with significant damage to lung tissue and organ systems. Those who have a more severe course of the infection tend to suffer these effects. The more damage, the more susceptible the survivor is to other infections and other diseases such as the development of cancers, control of diabetes, etc.