Ninety-two-year-old Catherine McCann was an Alzheimer’s patient at the Lutheran Home for the Aged in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Her family is suing the home for providing substandard care after more than 50 maggots were removed from the woman’s ear.
On September 16, 2012, a nurse at the Lutheran Home was caring for Ms. McCann when she saw a maggot in the patient’s ear. She called an ambulance and Ms. McCann was taken to the emergency room at Northwest Community Hospital where a doctor removed fifty-seven maggots from her ear.
A week before, Ms. McCann was prescribed medicated eardrops for “wax build-up” from a previous ear condition. The nursing home staff administered the ear drops and the last dose was given the night before Ms. McCann was taken to the hospital. The maggots were sent to a lab which determined that they were three days old; however, neither the nurses administering the ear medication nor the attendants who washed Ms. McCann’s hair noticed the maggots.
On November 28, Ms. McCann’s husband and children filed a nursing home neglect lawsuit against the facility. The family is seeking a jury trial and a minimum of $50,000 in damages for emotional distress and negligence. The family is questioning whether Ms. McCann received her medication since no staff members had noticed the maggot infestation.
Ms. McCann was one of 80 patients in a specialized unit for the care of Alzheimer’s patients. Nursing home officials say the maggots were a freak occurrence and do not reflect standards of care at the facility. Ms. McCann was moved to a different nursing home facility after the maggot incident.