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Oklahoma Veterans Center Staff Members Quit After Maggots Were Found In A Wound

Four staff members at a veterans center in Talihina, Oklahoma, have resigned rather than face getting fired, after one resident was found to have maggots in a wound.

Myles Deering, Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs executive director said that the maggots were found while the patient was alive in the facility located around 130 miles southeast of Tulsa. The veteran died, but Deering said the maggots did not cause it, Fox News reports.

The veteran was admitted to the center with an infection and eventually died of sepsis, which is caused by a massive immune system response to bacteria invasion. Deering said,

He did not succumb as a result of the parasites. He succumbed as a result of the sepsis.

A doctor’s assistant and three nurses on the case, including the director of nursing, resigned after an investigation was concluded. Shane Faulkner, spokesperson for the center, said the decision was made before termination procedures began.

The infection and death were reported to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, as well as to the district attorney for counties LeFlore and Latimer to see if charges should be filed.

The patient was identified as Owen Reese Peterson, age 73, died on October 3. His son, Raymie Parker, said, “During the 21 days I was there…I pleaded with the medical staff, the senior medical staff, to increase his meds so his bandages could be changed. I was met with a stonewall for much of that time.”

This is not the first time the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs has had issues with neglect in care, Tech Times reports. In 2012, a doctor’s assistant at the Claremore Veterans Center was sent to prison after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges caused by caretaker negligence.

According to Deering, the center has been considering moving, as fixing up the 100-year-old facility would take millions of dollars. Senator Frank Simpson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs, said that the agency has also been facing difficulty in finding and retaining staff.


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