Maggot infestation due to incorrect care?

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Has a senior woman suffered a maggot infestation as a result of incorrect care measures?

After the wound of a 73-year-old woman was infected with maggots, the Dortmund public prosecutor's office investigated the suspicion of assault against the nursing service of the senior citizen Sophia am Lüttke Holz. The daughter had filed a complaint.

The Comunita senior home Sophia on Lüttke Holz in Bergkamen was previously considered above average and so N. Rudnik had given her mother to the caregiver with a good feeling in the summer of the year. In addition to diabetes, heart problems and various other ailments, the 73-year-old also had open leg wounds that had to be cared for continuously. In an interview with the newspaper "Westfälischer Anzeiger", N. Rudnik reports that her mother's condition deteriorated acutely after about two weeks in the nursing home and she was therefore referred to the St. Christophorus Hospital in Werne. There, the medical staff had found an enormous maggot infestation on the open wounds, explained Rudnik. After four days in St. Christophorus Hospital, her mother got a high fever and died of heart failure.

After the daughter found out about the maggots in the wound, she filed a complaint against the Comunita retirement home. However, N. Rudnik is not only concerned with the maggots in the wounds, but also with the question of whether malpractice in nursing could have led to the death of her mother. The public prosecutor's office in Dortmund has launched an investigation into suspected assault, the public prosecutor Dr. However, Ina Holznagel also emphasized that this was not about the death of the 73-year-old, who obviously had occurred as a result of the previous illness. "Of course it is still not okay if wounds are not properly treated there," said the prosecutor. The public prosecutor's office is currently being examined by forensic doctors "how long an ulcer need not be cared for before maggots develop in it," explained Holznagel. The Dortmund public prosecutor's office does not expect a result for around two months. Rudnik also tries to get compensation for pain and suffering and funeral expenses.

Bernhard Rössler, spokesman for the senior citizens' house Sophia, explained that his house itself is very interested in clarifying the circumstances and that, as part of its own research, an employee had already admitted in writing that the association had changed. This was then released. In addition, a resident documentation is created by each resident upon delivery, which contains all medical reports from doctors and hospitals from the time before moving into the retirement home and their own examination results. These documents have been made fully available to the public prosecutor, emphasized Roessler. According to Bernhard Rössler, the senior citizens' house was also checked by the medical service of the health insurance companies after the indictment was given, and was given a grade of 1.3, which was "far above the national average of 2.4".

The director of nursing services at St. Christophorus Hospital, Ludger Risse, told the newspaper "Westfälischer Anzeiger" that "maggots in a wound (...) do not generally have to be an indication of a missed care". According to him, it happens relatively quickly that, for example, during the morning dressing change, a fly unnoticed lays an egg in the wound, from which the first maggots may have developed by evening or the next morning. Risse emphasized that while maggots settle in the wound, it is unsavory but not a health threat. The expert also referred to maggot therapies - which, however, use sterile maggots. "The maggots eat the dead tissue", which can be useful if it would be difficult to remove with surgery, the specialist explained. (fp, 16.10.2010)

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