We expect, and rightly so, that our loved ones will be treated with respect, dignity, and the best care possible when receiving medical treatment. In many cases, this expectation sadly does not match with reality. In a shocking and tragic case, the family of a late Florida woman has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Orange Park Medical Center after claiming they found maggots in the woman’s body after a medical procedure.
Routine Surgery Results in Untimely Death
Dorothy Mooneyham, a 76-year-old woman, was admitted to the hospital in November 2015 for surgery on a tiny blotch on her lung, the beginning stages of lung cancer. Mooneyham lived an active, independent lifestyle, both living alone and driving herself wherever she needed to be. Just twelve days after the surgery, Mooneyham suffered cardiac arrest and was moved to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), a heavily staffed area of the hospital requiring the most stringent sanitary standards. A month later, she died of complications from the surgery.
All of this would be traumatic enough, but the story gets worse. Mooneyham’s son and daughter claim that after she was moved to the ICU, they personally witnessed maggots in her mouth and nose and in her bed on several occasions. Clinical reports from the medical center appear to confirm what Mooneyham’s family witnessed, describing “maggots coming from oral cavity when patient orally suctioned”, and documenting one doctor’s question, “on skin of inner left thigh is a wiggling worm?” According to the family’s lawyers, these events occurred three times over the course of several days. After the third incident, the medical center moved Mooneyham to a different room.
Lack of Proper Care Caused Maggots, Possibly Contributed to Death
The lawsuit alleges that the medical center and staff committed both abuse and neglect of a vulnerable adult, medical malpractice, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Specifically, the suit states that the medical center did not maintain sanitary conditions in the ICU, and that staff failed to provide appropriate oral care and bathing to Mooneyham. Her family believes that Orange Park assumed the responsibility of providing Mooneyham’s care and services after admitting her, and that it failed to do so. The family now wonders whether the lack of proper care and hygiene that allowed maggots to infest their mother’s body may have also contributed to her death. Even if it did not, however, the fact that maggots were able to thrive in the ICU and make contact with patients amounts to medical malpractice, according to the suit. For its part, Orange Park Medical Center has stated that the Mooneyhams’ allegations are “outrageous and inaccurate,” the Center is “proud of the skilled and compassionate care” its team provides to patients, and that they plan to defend the case in court.
Have You or a Loved One Been Harmed by a Hospital or Doctor’s Negligence?
Last year, John Piccin settled a medical malpractice case against an Atlanta, Georgia hospital for $2.95 million.
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries after a medical procedure due to a doctor or hospital’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. No loved one should suffer because a doctor or health facility has failed to give the proper treatment and respect they deserve. The experienced Ocala medical malpractice lawyer, John Piccin at Piccin & Glynn has handled medical malpractice cases for decades, and he can help you through this very difficult process. Call John at 352-558-8480 for a free consultation to discuss your case today.