Is Your Loved One Being Exposed to Scabies?
Scabies is a skin condition caused by an infestation of microscopic mites that burrow into a person’s skin, where the mites then deposit their eggs. This burrowing insect causes an extreme skin irritation that is accompanied by intense itching which often grows worse through the night. The condition is extremely uncomfortable and unsanitary. While anybody can get scabies, it tends to spread more easily in nursing homes and long-term care facilities than anywhere else.
How Does a Scabies Infestation Spread?
Scabies is highly contagious and is most commonly transferred through close physical contact with a scabies infested person. Another common way for scabies to spread is through the shared use of contaminated items like bedding, clothing, and furniture. Because of this, nursing homes and other institutional facilities are at an enhanced risk for a scabies infestation to spread quickly from resident to resident. It is imperative for you and your loved one to be aware of the signs and symptoms of scabies.
What Signs and Symptoms Should You Be Looking For?
The most common sign and symptom of scabies is itchiness, especially during the nighttime hours. A skin rash that consists of small red blisters or bumps, which are caused by the burrowing mites, may also occur. It is wise to be on the look-out for skin sores that are created by the individuals constant scratching of the itchy, infected rash.
Although scabies can develop anywhere on the skin, the most common areas for the mites to burrow are around the hands (especially the webbing/skin between fingers and toes), feet, arms, buttocks, waistline, and armpits. If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, contact your loved one’s primary care physician and dermatologist immediately.
Why You Should Be Concerned About Scabies:
Scabies infestations are particularly dangerous for residents of nursing homes due to the fact that our skin becomes thinner and less elastic as we age. Thin skin, combined with excessive scratching from the itchiness of the scabies, can cause skin to tear and leave open wounds that can develop serious bacterial infections if left untreated for an extended amount of time.
An infestation of any kind (i.e., scabies, bed bugs, lice, cockroaches, rats, etc.) is a strong indicator that the nursing home or facility is not taking the proper steps to ensure that their facility is clean and free from pests and contagious parasites like scabies. It could also be a sign that the nursing home or facility is falling below the standard of care that they are required to provide to their residents. If your loved one is the victim of scabies in a nursing home or long-term care facility, contact the experienced attorneys at Berman & Riedel, LLP to speak with someone as soon as possible.