Candida auris has finally made the big time, receiving front page treatment from the New York Times after a Brooklyn man died from the fungal infection and his hospital room was completely blanketed with the dangerous microbes. Dealing with C. auris is extremely difficult as the fungus is highly resistant to most forms of decolonization.
Though hospital rooms are receiving much of the attention regarding this difficult situation, nursing homes are more likely to be infected than other locations. Hundreds of residents across New York have been diagnosed with C. auris and are posing an ongoing risk to staff and other patients.
When most fungal and bacterial contaminations are detected, there is a basic process a facility can undertake to disinfect the room and ensure that future patients will not be subjected to an elevated risk. Unfortunately, almost all of those methods are inadequate to deal with C. auris. In fact, in some cases the room must be gutted, with new drywall, flooring, and other surfaces installed.
C. auris is dangerous even to healthy people, but individuals in elderly care facilities are often more medically fragile than others. The fact that this fungus is so common in these areas, where infection prone people live, is terrifying. And with the rash of nursing homes discovered to be cutting corners with staffing and other safety concerns, it seems unlikely the dangers of C. auris are being properly addressed.
If you or someone you love has suffered due to negligence in a nursing home, whether it be failure to assist a patient to prevent falls or exposure to an infection that should have been controlled, please consider consulting with an experienced attorney. Holding these facilities accountable is the only way to get them to put resident safety first.