Nursing home neglect?: Maggots infest nursing home resident’s ear

You would think it would be impossible for someone living at an allegedly clean nursing home to have maggots infest her ear. Think again.

A family in Cook County has filed a lawsuit after a hospital removed 57 maggots from their loved one’s ear. They claim that the Arlington Heights nursing home failed to properly treat their loved one and did not provide “a reasonable standard of professional care.”

According to the lawsuit, the resident received medicated eardrops for an ear problem. When a nurse finally discovered the maggots the day after the last dose of ear drops were prescribed, they had been in the resident’s ear for approximately three days.

The family brought the issue to the Illinois’ Department of Public Health, which said that the nursing home had not violated the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act. Frustrated, the family turned to the courts for relief. They are seeking at least $50,000 in damages.

Many wonder why the nursing home did not discover the maggots, especially since the home allegedly washed the resident’s hair.

Nursing homes have been known to cut corners and neglect patients, causing serious injury and even death. How can you prevent a similar event from happening to your loved one?

First, when looking for a facility, ask many questions. Look up the nursing home’s record and investigate any issues you may find. Second, and perhaps most importantly, visit your loved one once he or she is in the nursing home. Not only will you be able to detect problems, but you may also ensure better care for your loved one simply by being there, since the nursing home staff will want you to see that “everything is in order.”

Finally, if you do notice that something is wrong — no matter how slight — bring it to the nursing home’s attention. If the problem is greater, such as malnourishment, dehydration, improper use of restraint or abuse, you can bring a nursing home abuse / neglect lawsuit. Your loved one deserves the best. When something goes wrong and it appears the nursing home is at fault, you have every right to seek legal recourse.

Learn more by visiting our pages on nursing home neglect and abuse.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Nursing home sued after maggots found in patient’s ear,” Sally Ho, Dec. 6, 2012

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Nursing home neglect?: Maggots infest nursing home resident’s ear