North Carolina Attorney: Understanding the Connection between Diabetes, Infectious Disease & Nursing Home Neglect

In 2009, six people in a Wayne County nursing home died of hepatitis B. They had one thing in common: all took insulin for diabetes, and all were tested and treated for their diabetes with tainted needles and medical tools. An investigation by North Carolina authorities revealed that the nursing home staff was not properly trained to administer diabetes treatment to the patients safely.

This month, a new North Carolina nursing home law was passed in response to the deaths. Now, staff working in assisted living facilities and nursing homes across the state are required to complete several hours of training related to medication, patient care, infectious disease control, and reporting outbreaks.

Why are infectious disease outbreaks becoming more common in North Carolina nursing homes? Public health officials say that there are four main reasons:
  1. According to the Center for Health Statistics, the number of people in North Carolina suffering from diabetes has doubled in the last ten years. This means that significantly more nursing home residents require diabetes care. 
  2. The population of North Carolina is aging quickly as baby boomers reach retirement age. More people will be living in nursing homes – and more of those people will have diabetes.
  3. Because of changes in Medicare and other budgeting issues, more people are living in nursing homes instead of medical facilities and many people are living in assisted living instead of in nursing homes. 
  4. Nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other health care institutions don’t have the same training requirements. A staffer at an assisted living facility may lack knowledge, especially as residents with more serious medical issues become more commonplace.

If your loved one lives in a North Carolina nursing home, it is important to know about all aspects of their care – it is not enough to look for traditional signs of abuse and neglect. If you believe your elder loved one has been harmed due to poor medical care in a nursing home or assisted living facility, speak with a Raleigh nursing home neglect attorney today. Brent Adams & Associates can help you understand your case and find justice.