North Carolina nursing home resident with dementia likely ate rodent, family not immediately notified, report reveals

State - Regional

SALISBURY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — A recent inspection report from the North Carolina Dept. of Health and Human Services found that a resident with dementia likely ate a rodent and the nursing home where he resided did not immediately notify a doctor or the resident’s family.

The finding was in a 51-page report that was released last month for Accordius Health in Salisbury.

In the report, a summary state of deficiencies was noted. It detailed how a resident, identified in the report as ‘Resident #1,’ who had a diagnosis of dementia and psychosis and was “severely cognitively impaired” had “ingested a rodent and vomited” on August 9, 2021.

The information was revealed in a progress note that was dated three days later when a nurse practitioner and the family were finally notified.

According to the report, a nurse aide had reported that Resident #1 had “spit up fur and grizzle that may have been a mouse’s tail.”

The report goes on to further state that a nurse had noticed the Director of Nursing had “screamed out and stated that she thought she was going to be sick,” after witnessing Resident #1 “pick up a food tray out of the trash and something was moving in his hand and before she could stop him, he put something what looked like a mouse in his mouth.”

The report said that Resident #1 would not open up his mouth. The report goes on to state that the incident was not initially reported to the physician because they had thought the Director of Nursing would report it.

The nurse practitioner reportedly called Poison Control after learning of the possible ingestion, due to the risk of the mouse being poisoned or having any infection.

In a subsequent interview on August 17, 2021, the administrator of the nursing home said the Director of Nursing “should have notified” the physician.

The inspection report also showed the nursing home’s “plan of correction,” which included updating the resident’s care plan to include “behaviors of eating items from the trash and placing nonedible items” in their mouth.

The plan of correction also included an audit to “ensure physician and the resident responsible parties have been notified of changes in condition in the last 30 days to include ingestion of unidentified objects” and re-educating staff “resident safety concerns related to putting unknown objects in their mouth, adequate resident supervision is being maintained, the physician/responsible parties/facility administration are being notified to ensure that safety measures and resident supervision are in place.”

The report showed Resident #1 is still in the care of the nursing home.

FOX 46 has reached out to Accordius Health for a statement on the report and the incident.

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