Four employees of a southeastern Oklahoma veterans facility have resigned after maggots were found in the wound of a resident who stayed at the facility.
The four staff members, a physician's assistant and three nurses, one of whom was the director of nursing, decided to resign rather than face the likelihood of getting fired after investigations were conducted. The employees made the decision to resign before the termination process started.
Resident's Death Due To Sepsis, Not Related To Maggots
The resident, who was originally admitted to the facility for an unspecified infection, later died.
Myles Deering, executive director Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, said that the maggots were discovered in the man's wound when he was still alive at the facility.
The man died because of sepsis, which is caused by massive immune response to bacterial infection, but it was determined that his death was not related to the parasites.
"He did not succumb as a result of the parasites. He succumbed as a result of the sepsis," Deering said.
Employees May Face Charges
The incident was already reported to the district attorney for LeFlore and Latimer counties and the Oklahoma State Department of Health to determine if charges need to be filed.
This is not the first that that the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs experienced issues with neglectful care. In 2012, a physician's assistant at the Claremore Veterans Center served time in jail after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges that were traced back to caretaker neglect.
Old Facility With Staffing Problems
The facility at Talihina is almost 100 years old. Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs spokesman Shane Faulkner said that closing the center is being considered albeit no decision is imminent.
Oklahoma State Senator Frank Simpson, the Senate Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs chairman, said that the facility has staffing problem.
"They had to reduce the population of veterans there due to the inability to staff the facility."
Raymie Parker, the child of the late veteran Owen Reese Peterson, who died on Oct. 3, related their experience while his father was at the facility for 21 days.
"I pled with the medical staff, the senior medical staff, to increase his meds so his bandages could be changed," Parker said. "I was met with a stonewall for much of that time."
He said that he was impressed with the floor nursing staff, but there are issues with the senior medical staff and the administration.