Maggot Infestations in Pennsylvania Nursing Home Patients Should Prompt Families to Investigate Nursing Homes
As a Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyer, I was dismayed to read that a Portland, Maine, nursing home was fined after a very sick resident was found to be infested with maggots. Stories like this are the reason that I emphasize that families of nursing home patients must keep close tabs on their loved ones' conditions, and not trust that nursing homes will always care for their patients as they should.
The male patient was in hospice care when staff members at St. Joseph's Manor found hundreds of maggots around his groin and on his catheter tube. He was also suffering from bedsores. Staff reportedly waited four days before treating him. The patient died of unrelated causes. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services fined St. Joseph's Manor $10,000 for neglect, and because its administrator, David Hamlin, did not have an active nursing home license. Hamlin, who found a replacement, argues that St. Joseph's acted quickly and correctly to deal with the case of the maggot-infested patient. As a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer, I find that hard to believe. No nursing home patient would see a situation like that as constituting proper care for their health.
As awful as this incident is, unfortunately, it's not entirely unique. A patient in the Community Living Center at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center left one elderly veteran patient unattended for so long that maggots had infested his foot wound. Pennsylvania Representative Joe Sestak recently testified before the House Veterans' Affairs Health Subcommittee in support of a bill that would make inspection reports of VA hospitals available to the public, so that incidents like this could not be swept under the rug.