Unsanitary Conditions at Whitehall of Ann Arbor Lead to Maggot Infestation in Resident’s Genitals

When Mrs. A was admitted into Whitehall Healthcare Center of Ann Arbor, Michigan in July of 2010, she had no way to anticipate the slew of negative events that were about to unfold. Mrs. A was admitted to Whitehall with diagnoses of anxiety, depression, obesity, chronic urinary tract infections, high blood pressure, and heart failure. She had a history of chronic ulcers on her legs and coccyx and complained of pain with movement. Severe osteoarthritis in both upper and lower extremities left Mrs. A bed bound.

Conditions at the facilitate were unsanitary. Gaps between a wall and the air conditioning unit in Mrs. A’s room allowed for bugs to enter directly into the room. In late July/early August of 2011, a nursing assistant noticed several flies around the wounds on Mrs. A’s legs and around her bed. She reported this to a nurse, but nothing was done to correct the situation. A second nursing assistant informed a unit manager and the director of nursing that Mrs. A had flies on her leg wounds and that she would get maggots. The fly problem was not addressed. Instead, the facility manager and charge nurse told the nursing assistant to document that Mrs. A refused showers. On August 13, 2011 a nursing assistant observed approximately 20 maggots moving around the area of Mrs. A’s genitals and urinary catheter. Mrs. A reported itchiness in that area. The charge nurse confirmed the presence of maggots in Mrs. A’s genital area and cleaned the area with a syringe of normal saline. However, maggots remained. The charge nurse never documented the presence of maggots. Over six hours passed before Mrs. A was given a shower. Had she been offered a bed bath earlier, Mrs. A claims she would have taken it. All of the maggots were not removed during the shower.

The nursing staff failed to complete an incident report because facility management “didn’t know how to word it.” Additionally, they wanted the nurse manager to use the term “debridement”- which means the removal of tissue-instead of “maggots” on the incident report. The nurse manager never completed the incident report and never interviewed any staff. On August 15, 2011 the nurse manager asked the director of nursing if she had completed an incident report. She was told that there had not been one completed.

On August 16, 2011, a nursing assistant walked into Mrs. A’s room and observed the nurse manager taking the maggots out of Mrs. A’s genital area and smashing them between her fingers. The nursing assistant reports seeing 4-5 maggots before being instructed to give Mrs. A a shower.

The written report for the incident on August 13th was not completed until 3 days later, on August 16. Several factors were falsely documented, including a report that Mrs. A refused a shower and was “immediately” given a bath, that the unit manager was directed by the director of nursing to “immediately” go into facility to address the issue, and that Mrs. A was given another shower in the room and that only “one” maggot was seen on Mrs. A.

On September 12, 2011, Mrs. A was transferred to the University of Michigan hospital. At this time, it was discovered that she had a right hip fracture that was causing her pain with movement.

Mrs. A suffered pain and discomfort, extreme embarrassment, and mental anguish as a result of the maggots and her mistreatment while at Whitehall Healthcare Center of Ann Arbor.