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Report Says Fly Larvae Grew in Comatose Patients at Hospital Infested With Mice, Flies
AP ^ | Mar 24, 2002 | Josh Freed

Posted on 03/24/2002 2:11:56 PM PST by Dawgsquat

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Maggots were born in the noses of two comatose patients four years ago at a city Veteran's Administration hospital infested by mice and flies, according to a medical journal report released Monday.

The story in the Archives of Internal Medicine details the 1998 infestation. It said mice would sometimes dash over the feet of employees in the hospital director's suite.

Hospital officials said the hospital no longer has any cleanliness problems. Barbara Shatto, the hospital's quality manager, said the hospital scored 99 out of 100 when it was inspected by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospital Organizations in October.

"We learned from that incident and took action to make sure it doesn't happen again," said Pat Landon, the hospital's director of facilities.

The infestation started with a housecleaning oversight, according to the article.

Dr. Stephen Klotz, then the hospital's chief of infectious disease, said the mice moved in after the cafeteria and food storage areas were dropped from a cleaning list. Some areas weren't cleaned for at least a year, according to the article.

By July 1998, a pest control contractor put out bait and glue boards to kill the mice.

Inspectors later found dead mice in food storage rooms, mouse nests behind boxes on food shelves, and mouse droppings on the floor of a cafeteria work room. Live mice were found in a large wastebasket.

Cleaners missed some of the dead mice, which attracted flies. Green blowflies like to lay their eggs in dead mice.

Electronic fly-control devices were installed, and pest-control workers began using live traps for the mice.

Some of the flies flew into the hospital's intensive-care unit, where they were trapped by automatic doors and kept away from mouse carcasses.

Maggots were found in the nostrils of one patient on July 22, 1998, the article said. Maggots were found in the nose of a second patient on Sept. 30, 1998.

Klotz said the maggots were removed immediately and that neither patient was harmed by the infestation. The first patient died two days after the maggots were found but the cause of death was unrelated.

"They're ghastly," her said, "but they're harmless."

Klotz said he found a few other examples where flies laid eggs in patients at other hospitals.

TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: maggots; vahospital
Hooray for the VA!
1 posted on 03/24/2002 2:11:56 PM PST by Dawgsquat
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To: Dawgsquat
Someone should be in jail by now. Nuff said.
2 posted on 03/24/2002 2:29:11 PM PST by kaboom
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To: kaboom
Amen. My wife made me quit going to the VA a couple of months ago. Now I have a real doctor.
3 posted on 03/24/2002 2:36:29 PM PST by Dawgsquat
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To: Dawgsquat
Fly maggots used to be a somewhat common method of treating infections. Maggots were placed in diseased tissue. Maggots will not eat living dissue but will eat necrotic tissue [dead and dying flesh]. Whn the dead tissue, which might have ben difficult to remove surgically, was removed by the maggots, then the maggots were removed.

It is such an effective method that it was quite commonly used at the K building at the Indiana University Medical Center when I first starting working there in 1965.

4 posted on 03/24/2002 2:53:41 PM PST by curmudgeonII
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To: Dawgsquat
I thought a person had to be dead before maggots would move in.

Nice how they treat vets. Imagine hwo society will treat us as we get older. It will only get worse. Today most people are very "me" oriented and have NO value or respect for life other than their own.

5 posted on 03/24/2002 2:59:04 PM PST by nmh
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To: curmudgeonII
Thanks, you answered my question.
6 posted on 03/24/2002 2:59:34 PM PST by nmh
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To: Dawgsquat
Makes me want to cry.
7 posted on 03/24/2002 3:16:41 PM PST by OldFriend
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To: nmh
The maggots were/are grown aseptically to minimize the possibility of introducing microbes. My understanding is, that the biggest drawback to this method of treatment, other than the aestheics, is that it causes an intense itching.
8 posted on 03/24/2002 3:25:39 PM PST by curmudgeonII
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To: Dawgsquat
first thing a vet learns. Never go near a VA hospital.
9 posted on 03/24/2002 3:32:35 PM PST by cynicom
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To: curmudgeonII
Thanks for bringing up the medical benefits of maggots. I was thinking about it while I read the article, although in THIS particular case, it doesn't apply.

Doctors also use leeches on people with severe facial injuries. I think it helps reduced scarring. I saw them use leeches on a guy on an episode of Emergency! Life in the E/R. They also use leeches for other purposes.

It's funny that with all our advancements in medicine, good old medieval maggots and leeches still have their uses, isn't it?

The old simple methods still have their place. You'd be surprised at how many ills just plain hot salt water helps--infected cuts and sores, boils, muscle aches and pains.

But this particular story is just plain gross and shameful.

10 posted on 03/24/2002 3:43:16 PM PST by wimpycat
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To: curmudgeonII
I thought that was still being done because the maggots do less damage than slicing entire areas out.
11 posted on 03/24/2002 5:05:31 PM PST by FITZ
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To: OldFriend
Don't cry, Brother...get on the hook to your politicos and make them accountable!

It's the veteran who laid it on the line...and now takes it in the shorts!

12 posted on 03/24/2002 8:10:11 PM PST by NMFXSTC
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