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Scabies present at Synergy Health Center nursing home

February 10, 2016
by Nicole Stempak, Associate Editor
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There’s more bad news for Synergy Health Centers.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has launched an investigation after scabies were discovered in Woodbriar Health Center’s dementia unit.

That’s the same nursing home where a resident died Dec. 27 after an improper mechanical lift transfer. Synergy Health Centers owns 10 other nursing homes in Massachusetts and has been under scrutiny for reports of substandard care.

Related: Complaints about 11 Mass nursing homes

Families of about 40 Woodbriar residents in the dementia unit were notified in January that a resident tested positive for scabies. As a precaution, all residents are being treated for at least two to three weeks with oral medication.

“No other individuals were found to have the condition,” according to a statement Synergy provided to The Boston Globe. “A [state health department] surveyor reviewed the case during a site visit on Jan. 12 and identified no concerns for further action, stating that the situation was properly handled by the facility.

Scabies is a microscopic mite that burrows into the upper layer of the skin that most often causes intense itching and a pimple-like rash, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms can take as long as six weeks to appear in people who have never had scabies before. Scabies is usually spread through prolonged skin-to-skin contact with a person who has scabies but can also be spread by contact with clothing or bedding.

Read more: Nursing home resident dies after improper mechanical chair lift transfer

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