Seacoastonline.com reported that the Department of Health and Human Services recently investigated a nursing home in Sanford, Maine after receiving reports that maggots were found on an elderly resident.  Incredibly, the investigation of the Newton Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing found “no problems”.    How is that possible?

Additionally, the DHHS spokesperson defended the facility after the incident claiming that since the resident had been checked twelve hours before, the larvae were caught “early” and the vulnerable resident was fine.  Maybe you should ask the resident or his family if the resident was fine after laying in bed watching helplessly as maggots ate away at his tissue.

Several media outlets have reported the investigations that found maggots in the throat and pubic area of two elderly women in Michigan nursing homes. The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, and the Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Inc., said the two women suffered severe neglect and abuse. The two nursing home were cited for several serious violations.

The first case involves a woman who had been complaining of “itching and burning around her catheter.” She could not attend to her own personal hygiene without help. Bed baths were not routinely provided. Both a CNA and the charge nurse said the woman did not get a shower because the nursing home did not have enough staff. Maggots were found to be infesting in and around the catheter area. The woman was sent to the hospital where they discovered she suffered septic shock secondary to an untreated urinary tract infection, skin wounds and kidney stones. Later tests and examinations revealed she had a broken hip and extensive skin changes due to poor hygiene and not being turned in bed.

The survey also indicates that a Registered Nurse manager was instructed by clinical corporate staff to document the discovery as “debridement” (removal of dead tissue) rather than “maggots.” The documents show that a nursing assistant said maggots were still in the genital area of a 66-year-old woman three days after their initial discovery. Staff members told a state inspector they had observed flies on and near the woman about two weeks before the discovery of the maggots and one staffer even reported telling a supervisor “she’s gonna get maggots.”

The violations at Whitehall Healthcare Center of Ann Arbor included failure to supervise two residents in wheelchairs, both of whom were injured as a result; failure to provide a sanitary, comfortable and orderly interior; failure to adequately monitor the fluid intake and output for a patient who became dehydrated; and failure to maintain complete staff personnel files and complete required certification, license and background checks. Whitehall was fined $17,000 for the violations, and the state recommended other penalties to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The documents shed more light on conditions at the 102-bed nursing home, which has been identified through state inspections as among the worst in Michigan. Now three former CNAs have sued the nursing home and its parent company alleging they were fired for reporting patient abuse and neglect at the facility. One was fired after filing a complaint that brought the state to the facility to investigate a patient’s fall, the lawsuit states. Two others were fired after they and the employee who filed the original complaint told state investigators about the discovery of the maggots, the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit also alleges the nursing home tried to prevent employees, including two of the nursing assistants and a nurse and a nurse manager, from participating in the investigation into the maggot discovery by suspending them while it was under way, then firing them.

The lawsuit filed Nov. 22 by Nikenda Morton, Wanda Mosley and Latasha Bryant seeks relief under the state’s Whistleblower Protection Act, asks for a jury trial and seeks unspecified compensatory damages for economic injury, including loss of employment, mental and emotional distress, humiliation, all attorney fees and court costs.

The other investigation involved a female resident at Cambridge South Nursing Home who had a trachea and “had been coughing more than usual but she was not immediately assessed because staff was ‘rushed.’” “The resident’s condition became so severe that emergency medical services were called to the facility where they found her airway obstructed by maggots,” the report said. Very active maggots, estimated to be in the first to second stage of development were found, as the woman’s throat was being suctioned to open her airway, the report said.“This is a disgrace and an outrage, not only are there outrageous abuses occurring, but the multiple layers of agencies and regulatory safeguards to protect the residents have failed miserably,” said Elmer Cerano, executive director MPAS.

See articles at The News-Herald, Ann-Arbor.com, and Ann-Arbor.com.

The Houston Chronicle  and KSN.com  had articles on the disturbing report of maggots in open sores on a resident’s feet in a Kansas nursing home. Wichita Police are investigating the poor care at Deseret HealthCare and Rehabilitation Nursing Facility in Wichita that led to maggots being found on both his feet. The Department on Aging provides oversight for care facilities in Kansas. Over the past six months the Department on Aging found 18 federal violations at the Deseret Wichita facility.

In a December 2009 inspection, the Department on Aging found 24 deficiencies, and a December 2008 inspection turned up 47 at the home, which is licensed for 93 beds and had 88 residents in April.

 

The Sun Sentinel reported the jury verdict against Renova Health Center, and its parent company, Universal Health Management.  Plaintiff Mary Stewart was compensated $1.3 million for damages related to her left foot being amputated after an 18-day stay at Renova where her foot became infested with maggots.

Stewart said life in the nursing home in October 2004 wasn’t pleasant.  Stewart felt pain from the stitches and staples used to heal her wounds, but didn’t suspect that something was wrong until it was too late.  She trusted the nurses to do their job. She noted that nurses didn’t check on her every day or give her medication.

"I just figured that’s how they were," Stewart said. "I didn’t complain because I thought I would come out whole."

But things just got worse during her last week.  Instead of cleaning her wound, nursing home employees wrapped more bandages.  A doctor who later treated Stewart said he found hundreds of live maggots jumping out of her body when he unwrapped the bandages.

Attorneys for Renova argued in court that employees provided an "adequate level of care" and then blamed the maggots on post-hurricane conditions led to a larger fly population.

 

 

Fox News and the Palm Beach Post News reported that a nursing home resident had live maggots in his eye.  Maggots were discovered in the eye socket of John Stumpp in an examination at a Veterans Administration facility while under the care of Gainesville Health Care Center in Florida.  A Veterans Administration official confirmed the agency filed a report with the Adult Protective Services unit of the Florida Department of Children and Families.

 The Gainesville nursing home is part of a for profit chain that includes Glades Health Care Center in Pahokee, controlled by the family of executive Maxcine Darville of Okeechobee.  An investigation by The Palm Beach Post last year found Darville and family members enjoyed salaries above industry norms and spent money on luxury cars and hot tubs while two of three nursing homes in the chain, including the Gainesville home, received the lowest possible one-star rating from state regulators.

"Please note that the discussed veteran was not under VA care when this matter occurred at this non-VA nursing home," said VA spokeswoman Cindy Gaylord in an e-mail. "The veteran was brought to our medical center for care and shortly thereafter, the issue was forwarded to Adult Protective Services, Department of Children/Family Service for investigation."

Stumpp, who lost an eye to cancer, sustained an infection in the eye socket, his daughter said.  An unannounced AHCA inspection of Gainesville Health Care Center Aug. 18 cited the nursing home for failing to notify a doctor of problems carrying out a physician’s order to change an unnamed resident’s eye bandages twice a day.

The landlord for Gainesville Health Care Center is a teaching hospital, Shands, affiliated with the University of Florida, The Post reported last year. The annual rent: More than $1 million.  Shands had an "arm’s length" relationship with the nursing home, Bradley Pollitt, vice president of facilities for Shands HealthCare, said at the time: "We’re not in their business and don’t pay attention to their business."

By November 2009, AHCA had flagged 39 violations at Gainesville Health Care Center in the previous two years on matters ranging from sanitary food storage to maintenance of sprinklers and ventilation. An overall one-star rating from AHCA places the nursing home in the bottom 20 percent of nursing homes in its region.

The Palm Beach Post had an article about  nursing home neglect that really pissed me off.  The nursing home resident that was neglected was a bilateral amputee with bed sores on his stumps and buttocks.  When a state inspector saw him, he was sleeping unattended in a wheelchair on the front walkway of the Azalea Court nursing home in West Palm Beach.  She noticed a lit cigarette smoldering on a towel covering the resident’s left stump. A 1-inch hole had burned into the towel and the edges of the fabric were glowing red. “Smoke was actively rising from the towel,” according to the inspection report. The man had been labeled a “safe smoker.”  The patient had been found asleep with a lighted cigarette on prior occasions. Two weeks earlier, a nurse found the man sitting outside the facility, sleeping with a lit cigarette in his mouth.

The incidents reflect the nursing home’s “intentional or negligent failure to provide adequate and appropriate health care,” state officials said in a complaint that called for a $31,000 fine against Azalea Court. As part of a settlement agreement, the fine was lowered this year to $11,000.

Azalea Court was also fined $5,000 this year when after state inspectors last year found maggots crawling out of the leg cast of a resident. That fine was initially $10,000. Azalea Court has appealed both fines to an administrative law judge.

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration also has cited Azalea staff last year for failing to respond to an alarm connected to the front door of the facility that signals if people are leaving the facility.  In addition inspectors interviewed six residents who said they were scared to voice grievances with the facility for fear of retribution.  This is a common complaint in most nursing homes.  Residents are scared that the care will get worse if they complain or get a nurse in trouble.
 

State regulators have fined a West Palm Beach nursing home $16,000 after a patient was found injured on the floor with maggots crawling out of his leg cast.

The state issued the fine in March against Azalea Court.  The nursing home somehow denies responsibility and has appealed the penalty.  They will probably either argue that the maggots were benficial or that the family put them there so they can sue!

An August 2008 report states that the 120-bed facility failed to provide the necessary care and services to a resident with the cast on his lower leg, which led to an infestation of maggots. The report says the patient’s leg was supposed to be treated every three days, but the documentation proved that the nursing home only cared for the wound about once a week.

If this isn’t evidence of neglect and understaffing, I’m not sure what it!

This story really upset me.  I can’t imagine the excuses the nursing home will use to explain this neglect away.  Florida police began investigating why an 82-year-old man from the University Center West nursing home was so severely neglected, he ended up in the hospital.

The man was taken to the hospital suffering chest pains and difficulty breathing.  What doctors found was so alarming, they had to call DeLand police.

Doctors told police the hospice patient had bed sores, his breathing tube was infected, and they found maggots in his left eye.

JoAnn Grasso, the administrator of the nursing home, declined to comment specifically on the case.

Former University Center West employee Monique Miller said she was not surprised.

"I haven’t seen maggots — but bed sores, yes," Miller said. "That doesn’t surprise me at University Center West. No, it does not, because I’ve seen it several times."

Miller said supervisors at the home are lax and allow unhealthy conditions to continue until its too late.

"You have to be half dead for them to send you out to the hospital, because they’re afraid to lose money, or their beds will be empty," Miller said. "That’s scary. It’s very scary. You have to watch it. You have to be very careful when you put a family member in a nursing home — all nursing homes."

I saw this article about a woman who was a resident of a Tennessee nursing home where they found maggots in her ear. How could this happen?  Who is checking her?  It is disgusting and unacceptable.  I’m surprised the facility isn’t claiming it is part of her care and treatment!

A Health Department investigation revealed that a resident at Johnson City nursing home had maggots in her ear because of a hygiene problem at the facility.

Records show the woman suffered from dementia and needed assistance with dressing, eating and bathing. But attendants at the Lakebridge Health Care Center had not washed her hair since July 23 when they found the maggots on August 4.

The state found the home deficient in providing daily hygiene to patients and is requiring a plan of action to fix the problem.  A Lakebridge administrator says that the woman did have her hair washed regularly, but that staff had failed to always record it.   The Administrator should know the Nurse’s Axiom:  If it wasn’t documented, it wasn’t done." All nurses are trained this way and most good facilities have a written policy to that effect.