A Georgia nursing home resident was “essentially eaten alive” by hundreds of millions of mites that burrowed beneath her skin, causing her hands to turn black and her skin to flake so badly nursing home workers who were caring for her were told not to touch her hands for fear they might fall off, according to a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the woman’s family.
Rebecca Zeni was a 93-year-old in 2015 and a resident in a Pruitt Health nursing facility in Lafayette, Georgia when she died from a scabies infestation. He death is listed as septicemia due to crusted scabies. Zeno had lived at Pruitt Health’s Shepherd Hills Nursing Home since 2010.
Scabes is a painful but treatable skin condition that is caused by parasitic mites. The mites burrow into the skin and lay eggs and live off the victim’s body. The Georgia Department of Public Health was reportedly notified about a scabies outbreak at the nursing home in 2013 and again in 2015 before Zeni’s death. Instead of inspecting the facility, a health department official emailed a manual to the facility on how to treat scabies.
Zeni passed away less than two weeks after Shepherd Hills Nursing Home received the manual on scabies. Her family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home and its owner, Pruitt Health, claiming the staff at Shepherd Hills was negligent in its care of Zeni.
Dr. Kris Sperry, a forensic pathologist and former chief medical examiner at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, reviewed Zeni’s autopsy report and said of the more than 6,000 autopsies he has conducted and the 80,000 he has supervised, Zeni’s was one of the “most horrendous things I’ve ever seen … I would seriously considering calling this a homicide by neglect.”
Pruitt Health is denying all claims made against its nursing home, saying that the facility is not a medical or health care provider and therefore owed no legal duty to Zeni or her family members.
Source: USA Today