Maggot infestations cited as example of problems in Michigan nursing homes
A state advocacy group is calling for more oversight of nursing homes, citing cases of extreme neglect, including one in Washtenaw County, in which maggots infested one patient’s throat and another patient’s catheter.
The non-profit Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service cited the cases in a press release as evidence of severe abuse and neglect in Michigan nursing homes.
But the cases are not typical of the care residents in nursing homes receive, an official with the state agency that regulates nursing homes told Michigan Radio.
Mike Pemble of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs told Michigan Radio the cases are disgusting, but he said, “I don't think it's fair to hold it up and say this is happening in all nursing homes.”
In the Washtenaw County case, nursing home employees discovered maggots in and around the catheter of a female patient, the Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service said in the release. “A registered nurse manager was instructed by clinical corporate staff to document the discovery as ‘debridement’ (dead tissue) rather than ‘maggots,’ the release said.
Rhonda Smith, communications specialist with MPAS, declined to provide the name of the nursing home involved.
In the other incident in Oakland County, maggots obstructed the airway of a woman who had been coughing. Emergency medical personnel discovered the maggots when they began suctioning her airway.
The Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service said the information came from surveys done by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. MPAS is preparing a report it said will highlight “numerous examples of abuse and neglect of individuals with disabilities in nursing homes throughout the state.”