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Candida Auris – A Deadly but Preventable Killer in Nursing Homes

Candida Auris. You probably never heard of it. Many doctors haven’t either. That’s because it wasn’t even found in humans until 2009. The first case was discovered in the U.S. in 2015. Since then, there have been 800 cases, mostly in nursing homes.

Candida Auris – A Deadly but Preventable Killer in Nursing Homes

Candida Auris is a fungus. Fifty percent of those infected will die within 90 days. It also very resistant to treatment. That is why the mortality rate is so high.

Once it hits a nursing home it often spreads quickly.

All the news isn’t bad, however. Preventing the spread of this killer is easy. Proper hygiene and early testing can stop Candida Auris dead in its tracks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say proper handwashing between patients, keeping high touch surfaces clean and proper washing of linens will stop the spread of the fungus. 

In October 2019, California public health officials say one person led to the infection 181 people in Orange County nursing homes and hospitals. An investigation revealed that a combination of poor testing and hygiene led to the rapid and undetected spread. Already 36 people have died.

The California investigation revealed 5 of the 9 facilities had less than 50% adherence to state handwashing guidelines. In two of the facilities less than 60% of high touch surfaces were clean.

No one moves into a nursing home expecting to die of a deadly outbreak of Candida Auris. That these outbreaks are preventable is especially troubling. In our own investigation, poor staffing, lack of supervision and inadequate training were squarely to blame. When the workers at an understaffed facility are so busy that they fail to wash hands between patients, it is only a matter of time before residents get sick…. Residents with already weakened immune systems.

When a nursing home fails to maintain clean and sanitary conditions, it breaches its legal duty of care owed to patients. When that happens, you or a loved one may be entitled to monetary compensation. Damages can include medical expenses, pain and suffering, future care expenses and diminished life expectancy.

If you or a loved one has contracted candida auris or another super bug in a nursing home and believe it is because of poor care or inadequate staffing, let us know. The nursing home abuse lawyers at Mahany Law will connect you with an experienced hand-picked lawyer in your state.

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 If you are a healthcare worker with knowledge of an attack, give us a call and we will ensure that the proper state and federal authorities are notified confidentially and immediately.