WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- A notice to annul the license of Hacienda HealthCare in Phoenix was issued by the Arizona Department of Health Services after maggots were confirmed to have been found on a male patient’s surgical dressing.
- Based on a recent survey that included an incident involving “inadequate patient care”, the health department released a statement on Friday advising immediate action to ensure the facility’s residents’ protection.
- Last year, the facility also made headlines after a severely incapacitated woman gave birth to a full-term baby after being raped by facility staff.
Following the discovery of maggots near a patient’s surgical incision below the gauze bandage, an intent to rescind the license of Hacienda HealthCare in Phoenix had been issued by the Arizona Department of Health Services.
The said facility made headlines in December when a handicapped woman who was raped by a nurse who worked there gave birth to a full-term baby. The employee accused of raping her had pleaded not guilty.
According to a statement from the health department on Friday, “strong and immediate action is necessary” to protect the facility’s residents. Their decision was based on last week’s reported results from a recent survey and an “extremely disturbing incident involving inadequate patient care”.
The health department’s notice to reverse the facility’s license also stated that on Wednesday, six to 12 maggots were found under a patient’s wound dressing by a respiratory therapist at Hacienda HealthCare. The patient was reported to have transferred to a hospital for medical treatment then discharged back to the Hacienda HealthCare facility.
Officials from the health department wrote in their statement that the fly larvae infestation was possibly caused by “inadequate and/or poor hygiene.
The Arizona Republic reported that the discovery of the maggots on a 28-year-old male resident was confirmed by Hacienda HealthCare spokesman David Leibowitz.
Leibowitz told the outlet that although “a small number” of maggots were found on the patient on Wednesday and a “bit more” the next day, these were not present in any of the other patients and unlikely to indicate that it’s a recurrent problem at the facility.
In a statement to HuffPost, Leibowitz said that pest control employees have twice inspected the premises in the past days and that a contractor is presently installing blower fans to keep out flies from coming indoors and lay eggs.
The department of health also stated that invalidating Hacienda HealthCare’s license does not mean the immediate shutdown of the facility, rather it provides the state more oversight.
Though the facility was proposed by Hacienda’s board of directors to be closed down following the incapacitated woman’s birth in December, the state of Arizona decided instead to regulate the 60-bed facility to avoid displacing patients.
The facility’s license was recently issued in April following legislation passed by Arizona lawmakers requiring immediate licensing of intermediate care facilities like Hacienda HealthCare.