Aug 25, 2011 6:40 PM by Melissa Hawkes
An investigation is underway tonight after a family claims their loved one was bitten repeatedly by ants at a St. Martin Parish nursing home. Eighty-six year old Rose Albert died Tuesday morning. The family says they believe it's a matter of neglect.
Rose has been staying at the St. Martinville Rehabilitation and Nursing Center for about eight years after having a stroke. The family says someone from the nursing home did tell them a few days ago that Rose had been bitten by black ants. They family didn't realize how serious it was until Rose was taken to the hospital to get treatment for the bites.
Rose died after being taken to Dauterive Hospital in New Iberia on Tuesday morning. The cause of death has not been released. KATC tried talking to a representative from the nursing home, but they refused comment citing privacy laws.
An email from their attorney says in part:
"St. Martinville Nursing & Rehabilitation Center regrets that it cannot respond to your questions. Federal privacy law strictly prohibits health care providers from releasing personally identifiable health care information concerning their patients."
We reached out to the Louisiana Nursing Home association, representatives say fire ants have been a problem for nursing homes throughout the south. Each is required to maintain pest control contracts, which this nursing home did have.
A spokesperson from the Louisiana Department of Health and Human services said a complaint has been filed against the nursing home in this case. They too do not comment on on-going investigations.