Severe Fire Ant Bites Create A Nursing Home Violation - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/18/02 - Tyler

Severe Fire Ant Bites Create A Nursing Home Violation

   When Gail Debenport was searching for a nursing home to place her mom, safety was always a prime concern, "A place that I could trust to take care of my mother and that her life might be as pleasant as possible."

   A trust she began building with Tyler's Clairmont nursing after placing her mom there over a year ago. But two weeks ago, the trust was broken forever. "I was just shocked," Gail Tells. "I couldn't believe what I was seeing." She describes what it was like to find her mom lying in bed, her upper body covered with fire ants. Some 600 ant bites later, Clairmont's Administrator, Zack Allen, describes what he believes happened. "The resident had just been seen about 20 minutes earlier when her food was brought in to her and the ants had come in sometime between that time and when she was discovered having them."

   While Allen says this is an isolated incident, ant problems were mentioned in a state inspection report, days earlier. The culprit was food left on the floor. Gail says the spilled food was a recurring problem. One that she wishes she had been more diligent about.

   The Clairmont Tyler has ten days, which is ends this coming Friday, to provide a "plan of action" to the state. That plan will outline how they've fixed the ant problemm, which they say they've done already. Fines for the violation could cost $1,500 dollars a day until the problems are fixed and re-inspected.

   As for Gail's mother, she's been moved to another nursing home in Lindale, and has almost fully recovered.

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