Nursing Home Staff Smelled the Stench, But 'Did Nothing'

York Spratling developed a terrible condition
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2018 6:00 PM CST
Stock image of a nursing home.   (Getty Images.)

(Newser) – Nursing home staff could smell the stench but did nothing for days—and when York Spratling was finally sent to a Florida emergency room in February 2017, the cause was hard to stomach. The doctor "said he had never seen anything like that before, especially in this day and age,” Spratling's nephew Derwin tells the Naples Daily News. "It really freaked us out." Medical staff said the 84-year-old needed surgery for gangrene on his genitals, so surgeons operated to remove dead tissue, and Spratling died soon after. Now the family is ringing alarm bells about Consulate Health Care of Jacksonville, where the US Army veteran had only been admitted three months before.

Florida officials have taken notice but to little effect, the Daily News reports. While a state review faulted the home in Spratling's death, Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration—which has cited the home multiple times—never seems to have investigated, allowing "conditions of patient squalor to persist," says the Military Times. One patient told inspectors he "wallow[ed] around in this bed in my own piss." Similarly, Spratling's family says the staff didn't wash him, though staffers say he refused showers. Consulate Health Care officially has no comment. But Derwin says their job was simple and clear: care for his uncle. "It's way past obvious," he says. "This is so past obvious that it's mind-blowing." (Here's a positive nursing home story that involves $20 million.)

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