Staff thought elderly woman with bug infestation in ear had wax

In instances of nursing home negligence, facilities often site understaffing as a problematic source of neglect. Usually this happens because a facility is trying to save money. Other times, they staff is inadequately trained. The bottom line is that too many nursing homes are more concerned with turning a profit than tending to their patients. Frankly, in instances of neglect or abuse, the excuses do not really matter to a family. It should never happen, the apologies and excuses often ring hollow.

In the case of a 92-year-old woman that suffered in an out-of-state nursing home, there seems to be absolutely no explanation beyond negligence for what happened to her. The nursing staff at the home was supposed to be giving the frail woman that suffers with Alzheimer’s disease ear drops for what they thought was a wax buildup.

It turns out that the issue was not wax, but an infestation of maggots. When the staff finally realized that there were maggots in the woman’s ear, she had to be transported to a hospital for surgery to remove 57 maggots. Her angered 88-year-old husband says, “I was horrified, shocked. I thought it was terrible. I’m paying all this money for that kind of care — no way.”

Obviously, the family was outraged and the woman was distraught by the experience and surgery. Consequently, the woman was moved to another facility and the family is suing for negligence and emotional distress. Their lawyer questions if the woman was even being tended to because he is baffled that if she was receiving any ear drops no one noticed the issue. Thankfully, the woman is now in a safer location, but the outcome of this lawsuit remains to be seen.

Source: CBS News, “92-year-old has 57 maggots removed from ear, family sues nursing home,” Ryan Jaslow, Nov. 30, 2012

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