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Outbreak of Bacterial Infections at Illinois Nursing Home Leads to Penalties and Fines

As the News-Gazette is reporting, the Vermilion Manor Nursing Home is facing hefty fines after state public health inspectors found several violations relating to bacterial infections among the residents. The Danville, Illinois nursing home did not admit any new Medicare or Medicaid residents for three months while the violations were corrected.

Inspection reports from the Illinois Department of Public Health show that the nursing home did not have an effective infection control program in place to prevent the dangerous bacterial infections from spreading. Surfaces and equipment were not adequately cleaned and disinfected, and nursing home workers failed to recognize the symptoms of potential infections. As a result, more than a dozen residents became infected with dangerous bacteria known as Clostridium difficle, which causes serious intestinal problems such as colitis. More than a hundred other residents at the facility were also at risk, because the dangerous bacteria can live on contaminated surfaces for a long period of time and is easily spread through hand contact with an infected person.

Following the inspection, the nursing home continued to take in private-pay patients, but stopped admitting new Medicare and Medicaid residents. The federally funded health care program refused to pay for these residents until corrective measures were taken to prevent further contamination.

In addition to the series of bacterial infection violations, the nursing home was also cited for several other safety failures that put the welfare of its residents at risk. One elderly resident fell and suffered a wrist fracture, but did not receive any medical attention for more than 20 hours. Another resident fell twice after an equipment malfunction failed to alert nurses that the resident was trying to get out of bed. Nursing home workers also failed to investigate allegations of missing money from several residents. The amount of fines that the nursing home faces is still unclear, and may depend on the amount of time that it takes for the violations to be corrected.

Nursing home violations like these are disturbing to our Illinois nursing home lawyers, who understand that entrusting your loved ones to another’s care is always a difficult decision to make. We know that you should be able to trust that they will be safe and adequately provided for. When falls are ignored, or dangerous infections are spread because nursing home workers are not properly disinfecting contaminated surfaces, these are serious, inexcusable forms of nursing home neglect.

Nursing homes are legally required to follow state and federal regulations, and provide a certain level of quality care. Unsafe or poorly supervised nursing home environments often lead to nursing home litigation, providing compensation to injured residents and their families. Nursing home neglect and abuse is a problem in Illinois and around the country, and a nursing home lawsuit can hold negligent facilities accountable, so that future injuries can be avoided. Our experienced Illinois nursing home neglect attorneys continue to advocate on behalf of all nursing home neglect victims and their families, to ensure that they are receiving the quality of care that they deserve.