After doctors discovered 57 maggots in her ear, Catherine McCann's family's attorney says that she is battling a serious infection. The family is seeking $50,000 in damages from the nursing home facility where she was living.
The 90-year-old McCann was staying at the Lutheran Home for the Aged. Her husband John said that he spent $10,000 a month for her stay and care at the facility, totaling up to a tab of $270,000.
In September, McCann, left unable to speak due to her debilitating battle with Alzheimer's disease, received ear drops due to a build-up of wax in her ears. The ear drops were supposed to be administered to her four times each day. Soon afterwards, however, McCann begun tugging at her ear. Nurses and her family members discovered maggots crawling out of her ear. In total, doctors removed 57 maggots from the woman's ear. Her attorney Henry Gruss said that the facility was probably not administering the ear drops as prescribed, since they did not notice the maggot infestation earlier.
It was not the first time that the McCann family had complained about the facility. A few months prior to the incident, they complained about the cleanliness of the nursing home.
McCann has since been moved to a different nursing home but her health problems are not over. Her attorney says that she has been in and out of the hospital since the incident; she is now suffering from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, an antibiotic-resistant staph infection, that her family says she obtained from the maggot infestation.
Doctors took videotape of the maggots but the footage was so graphic that the local CBS news station decided not to air it. Her daughter says that she still has nightmares about it.
The family is seeking $50,000 for emotional distress and negligence. Because she is still in the hospital, the family has not yet accounted for the total cost of her hospital bills.
Gruss has filed a complaint against the nursing home but they have not responded. He also plans to expedite a trial date because of McCann's old age and fragile health. A court date has not been set yet.
The 310-bed facility denies any wrongdoing. "The Lutheran Home is concerned about this occurrence and confident that the medical treatment was professionally responsible and attentive," Phil Hemmer, the nursing home administrator, said to the Daily Herald. "We've been in business for 120 years and we've never had anything like this before. It was an extremely unusual incident."
Prior to this incident, a 2012 ranking of nursing homes by the U.S. News and World Report gave the facility four out of five stars. However, it only received two stars for Quality Measures, which the publication describes as "[percentages] of residents who got recommended care, such as flu vaccinations, and percentages of residents who had pain, bedsores, urinary tract infections, and other care‑related problems".
Published by Medicaldaily.com