Maggots, urine, and infections: ABC27 investigates more problems at Golden Living nursing homes

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – ABC27 is investigating more problems at Golden Living nursing homes in central Pennsylvania.

Over the summer, ABC27 reported a lawsuit Attorney General Kathleen Kane filed against several facilities, including ones in Dauphin and Cumberland counties. Now, more recent inspections conducted after the lawsuit was filed show continuing sanitary issues.

Inspection reports from the Department of Health show a long list of violations at the West Shore facility on Poplar Church Road in Camp Hill.

The reports detail live maggots found in a resident’s feeding tube. According to the inspection, a nurse’s aide noticed a maggot rolling down the resident’s stomach. The resident reportedly said, “Maybe this is why my stomach has been burning.”

Someone then lifted the gauze around the feeding tube and saw more than 10 “moving objects” crawling out of the feeding tube site. The report says they were gray, white in color, and approximately a half-inch long. The inspection goes on to say that when the site was cleaned, “the worms came to the surface.”

The resident went to the hospital. The medical report indicated the feeling tube looked “old,” “neglected,” and “should have been replaced” a long time ago.

There was also evidence of “severe neglect of wound care and proper cleaning.”

Health inspections also show strong odors of urine in the hallway, up to 60 insects found in the kitchen area, residents staying in gowns soiled with their own bodily fluids, a “feces-like brown substance” on shower stall floors, a failure to complete neurological checks and follow physicians’ orders, and incorrect medication prescriptions.

They go on to list more violations, saying menus were not meeting the nutritional needs of residents, the facility “did not store, prepare, distribute and serve food under sanitary conditions,” and “failed to establish and maintain an effective infection control program.”

At the Blue Ridge Mountain facility in Harrisburg, reports show a “failure to ensure residents’ rooms were clean and comfortable,” along with dirty and sticky floors.

Golden Living Communications Director Michelle Metzger sent ABC27 a statement, saying:

“We take the care and quality of life of our patients and residents very seriously. We work closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, which inspects our facility regularly and whenever we or someone else raises concerns, to help ensure compliance with the detailed regulations under which we operate.

“In fact, we self-reported several of the issues you have noted, including the patient who has a feeding tube. This patient wanted to enjoy iced tea on our porch outside on a hot day, and when she was brought back in the building, we saw the insect and not only cleared the feeding tube but also self-reported the incident to the Department of Health.”

“Last fall, many homes and businesses in our area – including ours –  saw drain flies in the kitchen. To address this, we increased our pest control service from once a month to once weekly to properly exterminate them.

After an onsite survey visit from the Department of Health on Oct. 22 last year related to these incidents,  we submitted a detailed written plan of correction for these incidents.  On December 30, the Department of Health came back in the building and certified that we were in compliance.

Golden LivingCenter West Shore has been and will continue to focus on providing the highest quality care to our patients and residents, including identifying and correcting problems that may develop despite our best efforts.”

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