LANSING (WWJ) – A watchdog group is blowing the whistle on a government agency, citing two cases in which maggots were discovered on nursing home patients and equipment.

Tom Masseau with the Michigan Protection and Advocacy Services says the state isn’t doing enough to protect nursing home residents.

A report by the MPAS documented that, at a nursing home in Washtenaw County, maggots were found to be infesting in and around a female resident’s catheter area. According to a survey, the resident was then reportedly not given a shower until several hours later. She was later treated at a local hospital and also found to have a hip fracture that was causing her severe pain.

In a case in Oakland County, Masseau said a survey showed emergency medical services were called to a nursing facility where they found a woman’s airway obstructed by maggots.

“The maggots were suctioned out of the trach (Tracheostomy) tube  … and were taken out of the catheter area,” Masseau said.

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs sends surveys to all nursing homes and gathers information, but Masseau said there is no follow-through or accountability.

“There were falsified notes … The nursing staff at the nursing home were told not to put maggots. They were told to put ‘dead tissue’ in place of maggots,” Masseau said.

Calling it “a disgrace and an outrage,” the MPAS reported that these are not isolated incidents, and that neglect and abuse like this occurs on a regular basis in nursing homes throughout the state.

Masseau said their group has filed individual complaints against individual nursing homes in an attempt to force accountability.

A call by WWJ to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs was not immediately returned.

Comments (19)
  1. Count says:

    Big deal! In the 30’s, doc’s used maggots for just that purpose. It worked when
    traditional methods wouldn’t.

    Check it out on line or at:

    Replace dot with a . (period)

    1. Linda says:

      Count: Doctors using maggots for medical reasons is ENTIRELY DIFFERENT from maggots infesting an elderly woman’s catheter site or trach tube. The lack of compassion in your comment disgusts me. Shame, shame, shame on anyone who would abuse elderly folks or ignore or make light of elder abuse. You’ll be old one day, too — think about that. Kuddos to the whislte-blowers, and let’s hope the situation is corrected.

  2. Erin says:

    big deal? would you think it were a big deal if it were your mother or father,

  3. tfitz says:

    ya, count they still use maggots. but not like that. these maggots were there for lack of cleanliness. not to get rid of dead tissue. i dnt think youd be too happy if you had maggots crawling in and out of your throat or urinary tract, this is just disgusting.

  4. Kim says:

    That is horrible!! O by the way last I knew it is no longer the 1930’s, and yes maggots still can be used to clean up dead tissue but this is not the case. All I can say is YUCK!!

  5. Ada Hardwick says:

    Where the hell are these people’s family. Of course, the nursing home bears HUGE responsibility and I hope someone goes to jail, because this is beyond negligence. However, ha these patient’s family visited, these things would be much less common. The patients with visitors no doubt receive better care. Shame on all parties concerned.

    1. Leigh says:

      Unfortunately, some older folks outlive their “families”. It’s really tragic and there should be more accountablility and laws to protect elderly people from receiving substandard care and this type of abuse and neglect.

    2. Michelle Allen says:

      I have no family. I am alone. So does that mean it’s OK this might happen to me someday because no one will visit?

  6. cmac says:

    nursing homes are a huge money maker – usually run like sweat shops – with patients and staff treated like garbage – i have been hoping an investigative journalist would out these greedy ***** . i work in the medical field and think this is a national disgrace – the profit attracts those who could care less about the human element – as i was told while voicing my opposition to a situation at a facility where i worked “you have to remember this IS a business” and essentially there is the door if you don’t like conditions here. i don’t run away from things i think are wrong i try to fix them. i live by “be the change”. so we unionized and at least now we don’t have to worry about being fired while trying to improve our patients living conditions. some people don’t have family to advocate for them which does not excuse the system for allowing this abomination to continue while CEO’s and owners of these places rake in the big bucks – hundreds of thousands and even million – company paid high end cars, etc.

  7. Alisa Ward says:

    Ada, sadly even those peole’s families have put their trust into these facilities for a variety of reasons. If the family members are able enough to visit, it is unlikely that they would inspect their cherished family member’s genital region or would know what to look for in a trach site. Nurses and nursing assistants are trained and payed to do that job. I wonder how anyone could let that go on and cover it up by charting “dead tissue”. Despicable.

  8. Horrez White says:

    This is because these nursing homes are hiring the wrong people to care for these elderly and sick people..a lot of these nurses and nurse aides are just there for the pay and are lazy,abusive and just triffling towards these patients in these nursing homes..There is no reason why maggots or any type of bugs should be crawling around on these patients if they are really getting proper care..I am certified and yet i can’t even get a job and i love helping the elder but these places pick and choose who they want to hire and for this,this is what they hire.People with criminal records,people with mental issues,lazy people and people that just don’t give two snse about other peoples lives or humanity.My problems were never with the patients but the people working at some ofg these facilities..I have been at some facilities where the aides and nurses took their job seriously and where the people really cared about the patients and yes i will name these nursing homes..Cambridge South nursing home,Evergreen health and living center and the Madonna nursing home..But there were those that i won’t name that ignored the residence and treated them like children as opposed like older adults..Where is the love and the respect..I have seen patients at these nursing homes get abused at the westland convalescent center where i reported it and they wasted no time on firing this nursing home does not play when it comes to the treatment of residents.But some of the workers are just messy ,lazy,eating the presidents food and don’t realize that their job is to care for these people,respect these people and do what is required of them,But some don’t..But this maggot situation and fractured bones not being reported is intolerable and is not humane and wrong..There was this nursing home that would not feed this resident because her insurance ran out so they would give her this liquid to put through a tube that was inserted inside of her staomach..I complained about that to the nurse and there were alot of coworkers that hated me for this but when it was all said and done this lady was getting a full course meal everyday..I have seen patients come into this one nursing home being able to go to the bathroom and do for herself and because of neglect she went down hill..I believe it is so wrong to take away the only thing,the one thing that these people have left is their dignity and ability to be in control of certain things about themselves.Slapping diapers or briefs on some of these people that really don’t need to wear them just on account of being too lazy to get them up and to take them to the bathroom…Leaving them soak in wet in a wheelchair all day and changing them before helping them into bed ….not wiping them with soap and water and cleaning them properly..I have seen coworkers use shaving cream and water on residents instead of using soap..Crazy..This place has since been shut down,but these people need to realize that one day they will need help,they are gonna get old and you reap what you sow.Bad treatment and improper care..So wrong…

    1. Michael B says:

      Horrez, thank you. I was in a nursing home for 1 1/2 years from a stroke and became independent again in July. your comments are 100% correct and need to be dealt with as soon as possible because state inspectors are collecting pay checks and thats it. I can write 10 books on this subject but I must find a way to help as soon as possible. I would like to speak with families of residents to educate them on things to watch for when they visit their loved ones. I will say to please visit as often as you can and ask many questions. if they think you’ll visit often they will take better care of your loved one I have much more good advice for families.

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