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Family Sues After Maggots Invade Nursing Home Patient’s Ear

Our Chicago nursing home lawyers understand that nursing home negligence can happen, even in skilled nursing homes. A family from Arlington Heights recently filed a lawsuit against the nursing home responsible for a maggot infestation that had to be surgically removed from their loved one’s ear.

As CBS Chicago is reporting, the 92-year-old severe Alzheimer’s patient lived in the Lutheran Home for the Aged at the time of the infestation. Shockingly, the nursing home allowed a fly to get into the woman’s ear canal, lay eggs and breed 57 maggots.

Some of the maggots were sent to an expert for investigation, who found that they had been in the elderly woman’s ear for a period of about 2-3 days. However, due to her condition, the Alzheimer’s patient could not speak, so the only indication of a problem is that she continuously tugged at her ear.

Decades ago, the woman had surgery that resulted in an enlarged ear canal. She required antibiotics for infections and periodic flushing of her ear. Nine days prior to the discover of the insects, a doctor examined the woman for wax build-up and prescribed drops. It is questionable whether the woman ever actually received the drops she was prescribed, which would be a clear sign of nursing home negligence.

An exterminator who inspected the home discovered no evidence of flies. The nursing home itself speculated that the fly may have entered the victim’s ear when her private duty caretaker took her for a walk outside.

Although state officials did not find violations in this particular case, the nursing home was fined $1,100 earlier this month in response to other resident care violations.

The woman’s family is suing for negligence and emotional distress. They say that they heard the woman scream when the maggots were removed from her ears and can barely look at the horrific photographs.

The Sacramento Bee reported another recent case of nursing home neglect at the El Dorado Care Center in California. A former head nurse at the facility stood trial for felony elder abuse that led to the death of a 77-year-old resident.

The victim died in March 2008 after an emergency hospital visit following a 13-day stay. The nursing home was later sold and renamed.

The victim, who had a history of constipation, was basically ignored at the home and developed overwhelming fecal impaction that caused her death.

An important physician specializing in nursing home care and geriatric medicine testified that the victim’s medical records at the nursing home were suspicious – there were overwritten entries, unexplained and strange notations and lots of missing information.

Another nurse at the home testified for the state that the former head nurse ordered her on two consecutive nights not to send the victim to the hospital in spite of her worsening condition.

Another gruesome instance of nursing home abuse happened in New Jersey. There, a nursing home employee and her friend were indicted after they posted a photo of an elderly patient’s private parts in Facebook.

The 26-year-old nursing home worker, a certified nursing assistant at CareOne took the graphic photo early this year and sent it to her friend, who uploaded it to her Facebook page. The worker was terminated from her position at CareOne. Both were charged with third-degree crimes, punishable by a $15,000 criminal fine and five years in prison.

If your loved one suffered neglect or abuse at a nursing home, you should consider removing them from the nursing home as soon as possible. A nursing home abuse attorney can also help to prevent further harm.