Maggots Found On Nursing Home Residents

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs in Michigan has cited two nursing homes for violations after a survey found two elderly women in their care had maggots in their throat and pubic areas. Now a watchdog group is investigating.

The Oakland Press reports that one of the cases involved a woman who could not move around or take care of her own hygiene. She also refused showers because they were too painful, but consented to bed baths.

Later the woman was taken to a hospital where it was discovered that she had an undiagnosed hip fracture that had been causing her the pain.

“During one instance of personal care being provided, staff noticed something of concern and brought it to the attention of a nurse,” the Licensing and Regulatory Affairs report read. “Upon closer examination of the vaginal area, maggots were found to be infesting in and around the catheter area.”

The report said that the clinical corporate staff had told the Registered Nurse to notate the maggots as “debridement,” which refers to the removal of dead tissue.

In the second case, EMS arrived to help a woman who was coughing and having trouble breathing. They discovered that maggots in the second stage of development were impeding her airway.

The facilities were fined and given 60 days to 90 days to show the state a “plan of correction.” The state will then follow up to check on implementation.

“Unfortunately, these are not isolated incidents – these and other reported cases of neglect and abuse occur on a regular basis in nursing homes throughout the state,” said the Michigan Protection & Advocacy Services in a press release. “Such incidents often go unnoticed or unreported by nursing home staff, hospitals, and emergency personnel, even though such “mandated reporters” are required by law to report incidents of abuse or neglect. Many cases are never brought to justice simply because required reporters fail to comply with the law and report these crimes to law enforcement.”

Infestation of Maggots Found in Michigan Nursing Home Residents’ Tracheas and Catheters: Abuse and Neglect in Michigan Nursing Homes Must be Stopped and Those Responsible Must be Held Accountable [MPAS.org]
Maggots found in bodies of two nursing home patients [The Oakland Press]