The Arizona Department of Health Services has issued an intent to revoke the license of Hacienda HealthCare in Phoenix after maggots were discovered near a surgical incision under a patient’s gauze bandage.
The same facility made headlines in December when an incapacitated woman gave birth to a full-term baby after being raped by a nurse who worked there.
The health department announced its decision Friday based on findings from a recent survey and “an extremely disturbing incident involving inadequate patient care” that was reported last week.
“Strong and immediate action is necessary” to protect the facility’s residents, the health department said in a statement.
A respiratory therapist at Hacienda HealthCare observed six to 12 maggots underneath a patient’s wound dressing on Wednesday, according to the health department’s notice to revoke the facility’s license.
He was transferred to a hospital for treatment and later discharged back to Hacienda HealthCare, the notice stated.
Hospital staffers said the fly larvae infestation was “likely due to inadequate and/or poor ... hygiene,” health department officials wrote in their statement.
Hacienda HealthCare spokesman David Leibowitz confirmed maggots had been found on a 28-year-old male resident, The Arizona Republic reported.
Leibowitz said “a small number” of maggots were discovered on the patient Wednesday and a “few more” on Thursday. He told the outlet that maggots were not found on any other patients and there was nothing to indicate it’s a persistent problem at the facility.
“Pest control workers have been all through the premises twice in the past few days,” Leibowitz said in a statement to HuffPost. “Also, a contractor is in the process of installing doorway blower fans meant to keep out insects like flies, which can come indoors and lay eggs that could have created a situation like this.”
Revoking Hacienda HealthCare’s license does not mean the facility must immediately shut down, but gives the state more oversight, the department of health wrote in its statement.
Hacienda’s board of directors had proposed shuttering the facility after the severely disabled woman gave birth in December to the apparent surprise of employees who worked there. The nurse accused of raping her has pleaded not guilty.
The state of Arizona decided to regulate the 60-bed facility instead of shutting it down to avoid displacing patients.
The facility had recently been issued its license in April after Arizona lawmakers passed legislation requiring intermediate care facilities like Hacienda HealthCare to be licensed.
This has been updated with a statement from the Arizona Department of Health Services.