Outbreak of Group A Streptococcus in Philadelphia-Area Nursing Home
November 9, 2011 – The administrator of a 150-bed nursing facility in Plymouth Meeting confirmed that her facility, Aristacare at Meadow Springs, had an outbreak of invasive group A streptococcus that was reported recently by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDCP] as “one of the largest and most prolonged” outbreaks of its type in a skilled nursing facility.
During an eleven-month period ending in September 2010, ten Aristacare residents developed noninvasive streptococcus, which usually causes relatively mild illnesses such as strep throat or impetigo, a skin infection. Thirteen other residents developed a life-threatening strain of the bacterial infection that can spread to blood, muscles, or the lungs. It can cause toxic shock syndrome and the so-called flesh-eating disease, necrotizing fasciitis.
The Montgomery County nursing home specializes in ventilator weaning, spinal-cord injury care, and short-term rehabilitation, but was cited for “multiple infection prevention deficiencies” that included ineffective staff “hand-hygiene practices,” according to the CDCP report. Written by public health authorities including representatives of Pennsylvania and Montgomery County health departments, the report concluded that long-term care facilities should investigate even single cases of invasive strep infection and make sure good infection-control practices are in place.
The deputy press secretary for the state health department said “the facility took [our] recommendations seriously and did what they needed to do, and no one has gotten sick since December 2010.” AristaCare’s spokesperson stated that the problems have been addressed and corrected.
The nursing home’s neglectful practices that caused this dangerous outbreak can be devastating to our most vulnerable citizens—the elderly infirm. When a loved one resides in a skilled nursing facility, whether it is in New Jersey, Philadelphia, or any outlying counties of Pennsylvania, family members must be vigilant and advocate on behalf of their loved one in the home. Even the most diligent family members may miss some signs of abuse or neglect. If instances of medical malpractice or elder abuse are suspected, the advice of an experienced nursing home personal injury attorney is invaluable. The elder abuse attorney will investigate the incident in question, determine whether your family has a viable claim, and if so, employ all of the technical and medical expertise necessary to prove at trial that your loved one’s injuries were the result of that abusive or negligent conduct of a doctor, nurse or technician where your loved one resides.
At Messa & Associates, our elder abuse attorneys will be responsive to your questions and concerns, bring in our expert resources to prove the nursing home’s liability, and get the results and compensation you and your elder family member deserve. If you suspect your loved one who resides in a nursing home or assisted living facility is suffering abuse or neglect, call Messa & Associates today for a free consultation.
Our nursing home malpractice and elder abuse attorneys serve clients in Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, Allentown, Bethlehem, Scranton, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Norristown, and other communities in Montgomery County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Bucks County.
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