Infestations of insects can cause mild discomfort at best and life-threatening illness at worst. Insects are a part of daily life in Florida, but they can pose a health hazard when they make their way into one’s private quarters, particularly in food or in residents’ beds or clothing. These can include cockroaches, ants (including fire ants), spiders, bed bugs, flies and more. Insects can cause injury and spread disease. Failure to address these incidents or to promptly identify and treat patients who have suffered insect bites or insect-related illnesses is a form of neglect, and it can be actionable in civil court, as well as criminal.
Recently in Alabama, three former employees at a nursing home were convicted of a attempted elder abuse, a felony in that state, after an elderly resident in their care was found to have suffered hundreds of ant bites that went untreated. AL.com reports the three workers (one licensed practical nurse and two certified nursing assistants) were responsible for the care of the resident in question, who was confined to her bed. The three both indicated in medical charts that they checked on her numerous times over the course of the night. However, when authorities later viewed surveillance footage of the hallway, they learned no one went into the woman’s room for a full 11 hours.
The woman was later found to have suffered more than 100 ant bites all over her body, mostly on her thighs, knees and ankles. Continue reading →