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3 Workers Suspended From Nursing Home Where Mice Nibbled On Patients Face



Patient in long term care has face nibbled by mice or viral infection

Patient in long term care has face nibbled by mice or viral infection (photo courtesy L.A. Dawson)

Mouse Exonerated in Face Eating Scandal at Canadian Long-Term Care Facility

According to reports Friday, a union says three workers have been suspended at a long-term care home in Alberta where allegations were made that mice bit a disabled patient’s face.

Glen Scott, vice-president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, says the three employees at the St. Therese Villa in Lethbridge were sent home this week.

Scott says the employer, Covenant Health, has told the union the suspensions stem from the allegations about the mice incident.

Original Story Below

Edmonton, Alberta – it appears that the nationwide scandal that an elderly woman at a long-term care facility was so poorly taken care of that mice could eat her face is a matter of guilt by association – either that or just poor journalism.

The scandal centered on a woman suffering from dimentia at the St. Therese Villa for the elderly where she receives long-term care (LTC). LTC is the physical assistance a person receives when they are unable to perform two of the five assisted daily living (ADL) activities: eating, bathing, walking, dressing, and continence.

health-care advocacy group Friends of Medicare says the alledged incident happened on Sept 1st.

“We found out that last Sunday … one of the staff of that facility walked into this resident’s room and found mice nibbling on her face,” said Sandra Azocar, executive director of Friends of Medicare.

“The lady was in fact bitten and now she’s been medically treated for that … I’m completely horrified. I think it’s beyond words. I can’t imagine being that lady who had this happen to her.”

The controversy is far from over with the Alberta Health Department outraged over the allegations of poor treatment and have ordered an investigation. However, the preliminary investigation showed that the woman’s face was not marred by mice eating away at it, but rather a viral infection for which she was receiving treatment. Mice were spotted in her room and a rush to judgment was made that rodents were the cause of her facial wounds.

“We can understand how the public would be alarmed at a story like the one that was circulated yesterday,” said Covenant Health CEO Patrick Dumelie. “We are also concerned for the distress these allegations have caused our families and residents and our staff who provide incredible care.”

However, that doesn’t leave St. Therese Villa off the hook. They still have to account for how a nest of mice could take up habitation in her closet. The intense scrutiny on their business practices may also turn up additional health code violations.

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