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Influenza in the Nursing Home - Article
ABSTRACT: Although influenza affects persons of all ages, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified several groups who are at increased risk for complications. One such group is residents of nursing homes or other long-term care facilities. During influenza epidemics, mortality rates among nursing home residents often exceed 5 percent. To lessen the impact of this infection, the influenza vaccine is recommended as the primary way of preventing the illness and its complications. Many studies have shown that vaccination of nursing home residents and staff can significantly decrease rates of hospitalization, pneumonia, and related mortality. When an influenza outbreak occurs in a nursing home, several measures can be implemented by the treating physician. Treatment and prophylaxis can be accomplished using antiviral medications such as amantadine, rimantadine, and oseltamivir. The antiviral medication zanamivir can be used in the treatment of influenza, but not for prophylaxis. Once an outbreak has been established, control measures, including vaccination of unvaccinated residents and employees, and limitations on resident movement and visits, can be implemented.
ABSTRACT: Compared with community-dwelling persons, residents in long-term care facilities have more functional disabilities and underlying medical illnesses and are at increased risk of acquiring infectious diseases. Pneumonia is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in this group. Risk factors include unwitnessed aspiration, sedative medication, and comorbidity. Recognition may be delayed because, in this population, pneumonia often presents without fever, cough, or dyspnea. Accurate identification of the etiologic agent is hampered because most patients cannot produce a suitable sputum specimen. It is difficult to distinguish colonization from infection. Colonization by Staphylococcus aureus and gram-negative organisms can result from aspiration of oral or gastric contents, which could lead to pneumonia. Aspiration of gastric contents also can produce aspiration pneumonitis. This condition is not infectious initially and may resolve without antibiotics. Antibiotics for the treatment of pneumonia should cover Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, gram-negative rods, and S. aureus. Acceptable choices include quinolones or an extended-spectrum beta-lactam plus a macrolide. Treatment should last 10 to 14 days. Pneumonia is associated with significant mortality for up to two years. Dementia is related independently to the death rate within the first week after pneumonia, regardless of treatment. Prevention strategies include vaccination against S. pneumoniae and influenza on admission to the care facility. This article focuses on recent recommendations for the recognition of respiratory symptoms and criteria for the designation of probable pneumonia, and provides a guide to hospitalization, antibiotic use, and prevention.
ABSTRACT: Pneumonia is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in nursing home residents, with 30-day mortality rates ranging from 10 to 30 percent. Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common cause of nursing home-acquired pneumonia, although Staphylococcus aureus and gram-negative organisms may be more common in severe cases. Antibiotic therapy for nursing home-acquired pneumonia should target a broad range of organisms, and drug-resistant microbes should be considered when making treatment decisions. In the nursing home setting, treatment should consist of an antipneumococcal fluoroquinolone alone or either a high-dose beta-lactam/beta-lactamase inhibitor or a second- or third-generation cephalosporin, in combination with azithromycin. Treatment of hospitalized patients with nursing home-acquired pneumonia requires broad-spectrum antibiotics with coverage of many gram-negative and gram-positive organisms, including methicillin-resistant S. aureus. Appropriate dosing of antibiotics for nursing home-acquired pneumonia is important to optimize effectiveness and avoid adverse effects. Because many nursing home residents take multiple medications, it is important to consider possible drug interactions.
A Night at the Nursing Home - The Last Word
Quality of Life in Older Persons with Dementia Living in Nursing Homes - FPIN's Clinical Inquiries
ABSTRACT: Understanding the distinctions between the management of clinical problems in nursing homes compared with the community setting helps improve the overall care of nursing home residents. Liberalizing diets helps avoid unintentional weight loss in nursing home residents, although the use of feeding tubes usually does not improve nutrition or decrease aspiration risk. Medical assessment, treatment of comorbidities, and appropriate use of rehabilitation therapies minimize the frequency of falls. Toileting programs may be used to treat incontinence and retention in cooperative patients. Adverse effects and drug interactions should be considered when initiating pharmacologic treatment of overactive bladder. Urinary tract infection and pneumonia are the most common bacterial infections in nursing home residents. Signs and symptoms of infection include fever or hypothermia, and functional decline. Virus identification is recommended for influenza-like illnesses. Nonpharmacologic behavioral management strategies are the preferred treatment for dementia-related problem behaviors. The Beers criteria, which outline potentially inappropriate medication use in older persons, provide guidance for medication use in the nursing home.
ABSTRACT: Approximately 1.5 million Americans reside in nursing homes. A family physician often leads the interdisciplinary team that provides for the medical, functional, emotional, nutritional, social, and environmental needs of these patients. The treatment of nursing home residents is a dynamic process of ongoing assessment, transitions, and shifting care plans. The clinical assessment of nursing home residents focuses on cognition, mood, disability, skin integrity, and medication management. Advance care planning includes the development of realistic goals of care with the patient and family that go beyond living wills and do-not-resuscitate orders. The nursing home medical record and Minimum Data Set document the interdisciplinary findings and care plan. Transitions between different health care environments are facilitated by communication among health care professionals and detailed transfer documentation. Palliative care encompasses continuing reassessment of the goals of care; general supportive care (e.g., family, cultural, spiritual); and legal planning. Identifying and reporting resident abuse and neglect, and infection control practices are also essential in nursing home care.