Nursing Home Sued After 57 Maggots Found in Patient’s Ear

The family of a 90-year-old Alzheimer’s patient says that poor care by a suburbam nursing home allowed 57 maggots to grow in the woman’s ear, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Catherine McCann received emergency medical care after the larvae of diptera flies began crawling out of her ear. McCann’s family is now suing Lutheran Home in Arlington Heights for elder abuse and neglect.

A nurse at the home was caring for McCann when she spotted a maggot moving in the patient’s ear. McCann was taken to Northwest Community Hospital for treatment. According to the suit, McCann’s daughter saw a number of diptera fly larvae crawl out of her mother’s ear as she was being treated.

In the suit filed on November 28, McCann’s family says the nursing home is to blame for the incident. The home had a duty to care for McCann since her condition prevented her from caring for herself. By failing to notice a serious medical condition, the staff arguably breached that duty.

“I’m curious how someone could wash her hair and not noticed 57 maggots,” the family’s lawyer Henry Phillip Gruss said, according to the Tribune.

However, the nursing home’s administrators claim the condition was in no way related to their care. “This is a freak occurrence that has nothing to do with the care she was provided or the environment she was living in,” Phil Hemmer, the nursing home’s administrator, said.

Hemmer says McCann’s file documents the extensive care she received. In addition, an investigation by the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act found no violations on the nursing home’s part.

McCann’s family wants the suit to go to a jury trial. They’ve requested $50,000 in damages, according to the Tribune.

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