Imagine paying $10,000 per month for the care of a loved one in a nursing home and discovering she’d been sent to the hospital due to 57 maggots squirming around in her ear. That’s what happened to an Arlington Heights, Illinois family that is now suing the nursing home where ninety-two year old Catherine McCann, an Alzheimer’s patient unable to make her needs known, had resided.
It appeared as though a fly had flown into her already enlarged ear canal (from previous surgery) and deposited eggs. Ms. McCann was taken to Northwest Community Hospital when the nursing home discovered the infestation. Doctors videotaped the surgical removal of the 57 maggots.
The family attorney sent a sample of the maggots to an expert for analysis. The results concluded that the maggots had been in Ms. McCann’s ear for 2½ to 3 days.
Nine days before the maggots were discovered, the patient had been treated by a doctor for ear wax buildup. The physician prescribed drops, four times a day, to treat the condition. The nursing home confirmed she was getting the drops with the last dose at 6 p.m. the evening before the maggots were found.
The family’s attorney questions whether or not she received the drops.
A nursing home aide saw Ms. McCann scratching her ear on the day of the hospital admission, told the nurse (who saw the larvae) and called the nursing home’s medical director. Nursing home officials believe that before that day, the maggots were too small to see.
Mrs. McCann’s family had her transferred to another nursing home immediately.