Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Nursing home staff spread coronavirus to other facilities, CDC investigation finds – Los Angeles Times

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This is a scary factual report about the spread of the CoVid-19 illness in an American Nursing Home based in Seattle, Washington State.

A key cause of the crisis was :

low wages in nursing homes and assisted-living centers force many staffers to work in multiple facilities. Certified nursing assistants often make no more than minimum wage, and nurses typically receive less than they do in hospitals.

In addition, a sense of duty and financial stress may tempt employees to come to work sick, endangering elderly residents who have underlying health conditions.

Could this happen in Ireland? The answer has to be Yes.

Of the deaths linked to the nursing home, one was a visitor and the rest were patients.

The advanced age of many long-term care facility residents, their underlying health conditions and their proximity to one another put them at risk for sickness and death, the report said.

Life Care residents infected by the virus ranged from 54 to 100 years old, with a median age of 81.

“Substantial morbidity and mortality might be averted if all long-term care facilities take steps now to prevent exposure of their residents to COVID-19,” the report said.

Infected Life Care workers ranged from 22 to 79 years old.

A spokesman for the nursing home said Wednesday that managers welcomed the CDC report, because it could alert other facilities and lead to new guidelines.

“For us this is all positive, even if there are things they found that we could have done better,” said Timothy Killian, a crisis communications specialist, on behalf of Life Care.

He said that two or three days after the outbreak was discovered, staff members were banned from working at other facilities.

“As soon as we had an idea that this was something that shouldn’t be done, we stopped,” he said.

Killian said that “it’s a relatively common practice” for nurses to work in multiple long-term care facilities.

Dr. Michael Wasserman, president of the California Assn. of Long Term Care Medicine, said that low wages in nursing homes and assisted-living centers force many staffers to work in multiple facilities. Certified nursing assistants often make no more than minimum wage, and nurses typically receive less than they do in hospitals.

In addition, a sense of duty and financial stress may tempt employees to come to work sick, endangering elderly residents who have underlying health conditions.
— Read on www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-03-18/coronavirus-spread-nursing-homes

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