The New York Times reported on September 11, 2019, that nursing homes were playing a pivotal role in the spread of Candida auris (C. auris), a highly contagious, drug-resistant fungus, in New York. Dr. Tom Chiller, the head of the fungal division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told the Times that C. auris was “the dark underbelly of a drug-resistant infection.”
According to the Times, a 65-year-old woman and at least 38 other patients at Palm Gardens Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Brooklyn had been infected with or carried C. auris. The fungus has infected almost 800 people since arriving in the United States four years ago, and half of patients die within 90 days.
The Times reported that 396 people in New York are known to be infected with C. auris, and 496 others are carrying the germ without showing symptoms. Nursing facilities and long-term hospitals are commonly understaffed and not prepared to control infections as patients cycle through repeatedly.
“They are caldrons that are constantly seeding and reseeding hospitals with increasingly dangerous bacteria,” Betsy McCaughey, former lieutenant governor of New York and leader of the nonprofit Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths, told the Times. “You’ll never protect hospital patients until the nursing homes are forced to clean up.”
According to the Times, drug-resistant germs thrive in settings where patients frequently take multiple antibiotics that create drug resistance. The Times also reported that a recent inquiry by the New York State Department of Health found that long-term hospitals dealing with C. auris failed to take basic preventative measures such as using latex gloves and disposable gowns or posting warning signs outside rooms of infected patients.
The New York Department of Health told the Times through a statement that it had “made controlling the spread of C. auris a high priority and has conducted extensive training and education on infection control policies and procedures for Palm Gardens and other nursing home providers throughout this region.” The news outlet reported that a June 2019 study published in the Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases found that 65 percent of nursing home residents and 80 percent of residents of long-term acute-care hospitals in Southern California harbored a drug-resistant germ.
Finz & Finz, P.C., Fights for the Rights of Nursing Home Residents in New York and Long Island
If you or your loved one have developed Candida auris as the result of negligence on the part of a nursing home or another facility, take the first step toward getting the compensation you deserve by calling an experienced nursing home negligence attorney today.
Finz & Finz, P.C., was founded by a former New York State Supreme Court Justice and handles a wide variety of nursing home abuse and medical malpractice claims. Let our lawyers discuss all of your legal options with you when you call (855) TOP-FIRM or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.