Local news for South Carolina reported on issues in nursing homes that seemed to be related to managing the spread of coronavirus.
Nursing homes did not manage pandemic properly
The latest data at the time of the report showed that about one third of all deaths in South Carolina that were related to coronavirus happened in the state’s nursing homes. Furthermore, just a small number of facilities seemed to account for almost all of the most dire cases.
There are about ten facilities under scrutiny based on this information. The virus seems to have spread through the homes with relative ease, despite restrictions in place throughout the state. According to the South Carolina Department of Health, it is estimated that about half of the residents and staff in these homes were infected at some point. A review of records related to inspections at most of the facilities in question showed that they had already been cited for violations in previous years. Most of these issues stemmed from not meeting standards that were supposed to halt the spread of various kinds of infectious diseases. Considering that nursing homes already tend to have problems with patients being exposed to all kinds of infections at a higher rate than the public in general, it is no surprise that coronavirus hit residents in these facilities especially hard.
The problems in these homes were not limited to the spread of diseases. Many had very low ratings on a federally mandated scale that reviewed their quality. They have received thousands of dollars worth of fines, and other issues included large amounts of cockroaches and abuse of residents. Staff members had previously told one inspector at a facility that they are afraid to touch anything because of known problems with all kinds of illnesses spreading around inside.
The full extent of these problems became apparent when the state began to execute orders to test every single patient and employee in all of South Carolina’s 194 nursing homes. Administrators were struggling at least in part due to the possibility of spread by those who were not sick, also called asymptomatic carriers. Their screening methods may have been insufficient to catch these problems early enough, despite a fairly quick lockdown and other security measures.
Lawsuits against nursing homes
While the coronavirus presented a new situation for the country to try to understand, problems with infections and diseases in nursing homes are certainly not new. Various homes in South Carolina and the rest of the U.S. have been sued in recent years for poor practices related to sanitation and treatment of residents. In some cases, patients have even died shortly after committing to a facility.
Get help from a nursing home abuse attorney in South Carolina
There are lawyers in Columbia and surrounding parts of South Carolina who can help you bring a lawsuit. To schedule an appointment, contact:
1116 Blanding St., #3A, Columbia, SC 29201