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What are the most commonly spread infections in nursing homes?

On Behalf of | May 10, 2021 | Blog, Nursing Home Malpractice

Many senior citizens throughout Pennsylvania live in nursing homes. If you’re the child of someone in a nursing home, you expect these facilities to be sanitary and safe. Unfortunately, certain infections can spread throughout these facilities. Here is more information about the most commonly spread infections in nursing homes.

Urinary tract infections

According to research, one of the most common infections in nursing homes are UTIs. Sometimes, these infections worsen due to the presence of an indwelling catheter. Also, UTIs are more common due to the average age of nursing home patients. Elderly people often deal with lower functioning organs and limited mobility, two factors that increase their risk for infection.


While not as widespread as urinary tract infections, pneumonia remains one of the deadliest infections throughout nursing home communities. Because it’s not always easy to spot in senior citizens, pneumonia resulting in death is a common cause of nursing home malpractice. Unless a nursing home resident receives a chest x-ray, it could be difficult for medical professionals to know if a patient has pneumonia.


Another type of infection that’s dangerous for nursing home patients is influenza. Research shows that anywhere from 3,000 to 49,000 will die from influenza-related complications. Sadly, 90% of these deaths will happen to those over the age of 65. If an influenza outbreak happens in a nursing home, considering the proximity of patients, this infection can spread quickly.

Clostridium difficile infections

Abbreviated as CDI, Clostridium difficile infections are one of the fastest-growing infections in nursing homes throughout the nation. This infection can cause diarrhea, which can sometimes become deadly for older individuals. One lead contributor to the rise of CDI in nursing homes is the administration of antibiotics. These medications often remove gut bacteria, sometimes causing CDI to multiply in the body.

In conclusion, there are several types of infections that can wreak havoc in a nursing home. If someone you know became sick as a nursing home patient, it might be a good time to contact a lawyer.