Fla. hospital sued after maggots found in patient's mouth

Orange Park (Fla.) Medical Center is facing a lawsuit from a former patient's family after maggots were found in the patient's mouth during a post-surgery stay, The Florida Times-Union reported.

According to the lawsuit, 76-year-old Dorothy Mooneyham was admitted to the hospital for a routine procedure in November. She encountered complications and was in the intensive care unit for 17 days when a hospital staff member discovered maggots in her mouth. Then, a few days later, another maggot was found on Ms. Mooneyham's inner thigh and in her bed, her family says.

Ms. Mooneyham later died.

The maggots were identified at the University of Florida as the blow fly, which are attracted to decaying meat, according to the Times-Union. The blow fly's gestation period is roughly 24 hours, meaning the maggots are likely linked to Ms. Mooneyham's hospital stay.

The lawsuit filed by the Mooneyhams seeks damages for abuse and neglect of a vulnerable adult and intentional infliction of emotional distress, according to the report.

In a statement to the Times-Union, Orange Park Medical Center's interim director of public relations and communications called the allegations "outrageous and inaccurate," going on to say, "While we understand the grief of losing a loved one and we offer our condolences to this family, we are proud of the skilled and compassionate care our team provides every day to our patients, and we will vehemently defend this case in court."

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