While many states – including Florida – offer extensive information about abuse and neglect reports generated from care in nursing homes and hospitals, most make it very difficult to obtain information on the care in state-regulated facilities. In one example recently chronicled by the Associated Press, a man rendered severely and permanently disabled by a car accident more than a quarter century ago suffered for weeks with an infestation of maggots.
According to the report, the man, who is unable to walk, talk or even breathe on his own, was helpless when the tiny larval flies invaded a hole in his throat near his breathing tube. It was the first of two such infestations he suffered, resulting in numerous hospital emergency department trips and extensive treatment. A subsequent investigation by the state revealed his caretakers neglected him for days at a time, allowing the infestation to take hold. And yet, despite the egregiousness in the lapse of care, no one might have learned anything about it had the AP not made specific and detailed requests for the information.
As noted by the reporters, it’s far simpler for a member of the public to learn about possible health code violations in a restaurant than to learn about errors or lapses in care at institutions run by the state. That kind of information could be invaluable to those searching for information about where to send a loved one who requires around-the-clock medical care. Continue reading →