Botched scabies care at Arkansas nursing home led to community outbreak

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An Arkansas facility is facing more than $150,000 in fines and a possible shutdown after a scabies outbreak affected every resident, according to government regulators.

Residents with the highly contagious skin condition weren't isolated within Longmeadow Nursing Care in Camden, authorities alleged. Proper procedures were ignored, causing employees to contract the bugs, which then spread outside the facility to their families, Arkansas Online reported.

State records reveal that in some cases, nursing staff said they were told not to leave a paper trail and did not record whether its 28 residents received a topical cream prescribed by a physician during the December outbreak.

Additionally, state regulators had cited the facility for its inadequate response to a smaller outbreak over the summer.

Following the December inspection, the state Office of Long Term Care rated the infractions an "L," the most severe in a 12-letter rating system, and placed the facility in Immediate Jeopardy, according to Arkansas online.

The website's phone calls to Longmeadow and an email to its owner weren't returned.

Protective equipment had been stored near infected residents, who were not quarantined from uninfected peers, surveyors found. Additionally, nurses, housekeepers and certified nursing assistants weren't checked for bugs, and infected workers spread scabies to family members.

Marci Manley, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Human Services, said a proper response to scabies, which is caused by mites, is to isolate affected people, require direct care staff to wear protective equipment and use special cleaning techniques.

Longmeadow could be decertified by Medicare and Medicaid in March and faces added fines of $1,255 per non-compliant day.

For more details, see www.arkansasonline.com/news/2018/jan/22/camden-area-scabies-cases-linked-to-fir-1/?f=news-arkansas