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August Inspection Found Failings In Lewiston Hospital's COVID-19 Protocols, Unsanitary Conditions

Flickr/Creative Commons
Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston in 2009.

A federal inspection report from August found that Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston failed to implement all possible strategies to control the transmission of COVID-19. The report also concluded that the hospital failed to ensure a sanitary environment.

Surveyors visited Central Maine Medical Center in late July and early August, where they witnessed several employees entering the hospital without wearing face masks. They also documented the hospital’s failure to take the temperature of staff and visitors, and found unsanitary conditions in the Intensive Care Unit.

Those conditions included dried brown liquid on the floor of rooms, tubing from IV machines touching the floor and overflowing trash cans. Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Alexander says the failures cited in the report were isolated incidents, and at the time, Central Maine Medical Center was dealing with an outbreak at a local nursing facility that had extended into the hospital.

“And we had gotten to the point during that outbreak where we had almost 50 team members who were out on quarantine. And we had gotten to the point where we had four ICU nurses who were alternating shifts for a few days until we could bring in additional reinforcements. So, we were really at a stretched capacity,” he says.

Ultimately, two patients and 15 staff tested positive.

Alexander says the incidents don’t broadly reflect what’s happening at the hospital.

“The couple of examples that were cited, we own them. We need to do a better job making sure that we are always following the same safety protocols that we have throughout our hospital,” he says.

Alexander says they’ve been resolved and that the hospital has duplicated surveillance to make sure protocols are followed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.