LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A scabies outbreak at a south Arkansas nursing home spread throughout the facility and into the community after those in charge failed to act, according to a government report.
Government documents show that officials at Longmeadow Nursing Care in Camden told nursing staff in some cases not to leave any documentation indicating they were treating residents for scabies, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported . Scabies is a highly contagious skin condition caused by mites, according to the U.S. Library of Medicine.
Residents with scabies weren’t isolated and proper procedures were neglected, causing employees to contract the bugs that spread outside the facility, the documents show.
State regulators cited the facility in July for failing to properly address a smaller infestation affecting a few residents, just weeks before the condition struck every resident at Longmeadow. A nurse told inspectors the facility didn’t document the outbreak because of instructions from higher authorities.
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The state Office of Long Term Care gave the violations the most severe rating in a 12-letter rating system after a Dec. 14 inspection.
“The failed practices resulted in Immediate Jeopardy, which caused or could have caused serious harm, for all 28 residents who resided in the facility,” said a report by the office.
The facility neglected to treat staff members who developed scabies, which eventually spread to their relatives, according to the report. The Arkansas Department of Health doesn’t suspect the outbreak has reached Camden schools, said Meg Mirivel, a spokesman for the agency.
The facility must submit a plan of correction. Medicare and Medicaid payments for new residents stopped Thursday. Regulators will revisit the site before it can receive payments again. Longmeadow will no longer be certified to receive Medicare and Medicaid payments if it doesn’t come into compliance before March 22, basically shutting down the nursing home.
Phone calls by the newspaper to Longmeadow and an email to the facility’s owner weren’t returned.
Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com