In many states, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit nursing homes especially hard. Residents, who often have conditions that make them susceptible to the disease, are living in tight quarters. When the coronavirus enters a long-term care facility, it can quickly spread through its population and staff — especially if the facility has a poor history of handling infections.

Unfortunately, that describes many nursing homes in Missouri. Whether it is due to substandard cleanliness policies, or lack of enforcement of necessary rules about handwashing and other measures, some care facilities seem to have more preventable outbreaks of disease than others.

Facilities cited for unwashed hands

A survey of inspection records can give a glimpse into these dangerous deficiencies. For example, across the state from Kansas City, one St. Louis-area facility has been cited six years in a row by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for its poor handling of “infection control issues.” These citations often come down to practices a simple as having staff wash their hands frequently.

CMS has cited another nursing home in the St. Louis metro five years straight for similar violations. In that facility, 17 residents have died of COVID-19. It remains to be seen how many will ultimately succumb there, and how many of those deaths might have been prevented with reasonably strict handwashing and personal protective equipment policies before and during the pandemic.

Nobody should be neglected at a nursing home

We put our trust in nursing homes to care for our parents and other senior relatives. Our loved ones deserve to live in reasonable cleanliness, safety and dignity. A nursing home that has put your relative in danger, or has abused them, needs to be held legally responsible. An experienced personal injury attorney will help you understand how to accomplish this.