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VA Hospital Maggots Found in Wound of Dying Vietnam Vet

VA Hospital Maggots Found in Wound of Dying Vietnam Vet

Late Vietnam Veteran Owen Reese Peterson. (Veteran Affairs)

By    |   Monday, 05 December 2016 12:19 PM

Maggots found in a wound of a patient before he died at a VA facility has led to the resignations of three nurses and a physician's assistant who is already working at another veterans affairs facility.

Owen Reese Peterson, 73, died on Oct. 3 at the Oklahoma Department of Veteran Affairs facility in Talihina, in southeastern Oklahoma, according to the Tulsa World.

Myles Deering, executive director of state's veteran affairs department, said the maggots were found while Peterson was alive, but he officially died of sepsis, a life-threatening complication from an infection.

"He did not succumb as a result of the parasites," Deering said.

Maggot therapy, which involves the introduction of live, disinfected fly larvae into non-healing skin and soft tissue wounds to clean out dead tissue, apparently wasn't being used in this case

The Associated Press said the unidentified physician's assistant and the three nurses, including the director of nursing, quit after the investigation was completed.

The incident was reported to the Oklahoma State Department of Health and Jeff Smith, the district attorney for LeFlore and Latimer counties, to determine if charges would be filed.

The World reported on Sunday that the resigned physician assistant has already been rehired at another veterans center in Lawton, Oklahoma, even though the person had an alleged history of disciplinary action.

Smith said he has yet to receive a report on Peterson's death from the Oklahoma veterans affairs yet.

Jamie Dukes, an Oklahoma State Department of Health spokeswoman, said an incident report was received from the veterans center on Oct. 13 but he declined to release it publicly because it had "identifying information that is prohibited by law from being released."

Peterson's son, Raymie Parker, said his father joined the Army in 1969 and served during the Vietnam War.

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Maggots found in a wound of a patient before he died at a VA facility has led to the resignations of three nurses and a physician's assistant who is already working at another veterans affairs facility.
va, hospital, maggots, wound, dying, vietnam vet
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2016-19-05
Monday, 05 December 2016 12:19 PM
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